By Holly Glen Gearhart
I am never more thrilled than when I see our country at its best; a hand extended to a hand in need, shoulders for another to lean on, or the act of a stranger who rips off his own shirt to stop the bleeding of a stranger in need.
I am referring to the horrific events that happened at the Boston Marathon finish line. That day, what has for 117 years been a celebration of physical endurance and friendly competition between people of all nations became a bleeding bookmark in the annals of time.
The deed that day brought once again to our shores an act fed by the fear and cured in the anger of a few who have come to see the United States of America as their ultimate foe.
The truth is we are no longer seen as the “Shining City upon the Hill,” a beacon for those seeking freedom. As a nation can we should look back at the words of President-elect John F. Kennedy in an address to the Massachusetts Legislature on January 9, 1961: “I have been guided by the standard John Winthrop set before his shipmates on the flagship Arabella 331 years ago, as they, too, faced the task of building a government on a new and perilous frontier.
We must always consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill…the eyes of all people are upon us… in every branch, at every level, national, state, and local, we must be as a city upon a hill, constructed and inhabited by men aware of their grave trust and their great responsibilities.”
Today we are seen by some as colonialists intent on making the peoples of all nations Coca-Cola swilling, godless hedonists. There are voices abroad that feed minds with hate for us and work to summarily dismiss the many good things we do for mankind.
We must come together to be the best we can be at all times to one another in every city and in every town. We cannot give in to helplessness. We must collectively to do the work that defines the heart of what our country must be; Americans all, striving together in the experiment of freedom.