An Open Letter to America on Veterans Day 2016

Dear America,

I don’t know what it’s like to be away from my family for days, months, and years. I’ve never been through basic training and I’ve never carried a ruck sack – not even a cute one that I could buy at L.L. Bean. I’ve never slept in a trench – in fact, I’ve hardly ever slept in anywhere but a bed. I’ve never had to run through wilderness, face chemical warfare, and I’ve never had to carry a bleeding friend of mine hoping they would survive.

Because I’m American.

I don’t know what it’s like to bury a son, a daughter, or a father or mother because they died in the line of battle. I don’t know what it’s like in Iraq, or Iran, or Mexico, or Canada for that matter. And I don’t know what every day terrorism is like. I’ve never driven a Hummer – and certainly not one of military grade. I’ve never eaten meals from a bag wondering if it’s my last.

Because I’m American.

I have rights – that were fought for. That are fought for – every single day by people who are more brave than I can even begin to imagine being. I stand when the national anthem plays, and I cry when standing in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I don’t let the flag touch the ground, and I fly it at half staff when people are fallen, hurt, or in oppression. I have respect for this country and its beautiful people.

Because I’m American.

I vote. I vote for the economy. For social rights. I vote for who I am given the choice to vote for, because of what the majority of this country says it needs. I am united with my fellow citizens. I will not move, and I will not ransack a city. I will be thankful that I was able to vote, that I have food on my table, and that I don’t have to carry a machine gun at night to feel safe. I am thankful for our system of democracy – electoral college and all.

Because I’m American.

I am educated. Because I am in a country where not everyone is just like me. I am free to walk down the street and express what makes me unhappy, and sometimes I am heard. Sometimes I’m not. But I am able to speak, and that’s something. I pray. Because this country protects my right to do so. And I pray for this country. I am an important part of the fabric of this time of life and the future.

Because I’m American.

I will not lessen or ignore the pain that so many feel today because of an election. But I will speak hope because that’s what our veterans give us. There is an ebb and a flow to countries. There is an ebb and a flow to our dreams, what we think the future is, and what we make of the future. But it’s not up to one person. One person does not MAKE America. We live with a government in checks and balances, and ruled by One greater than who we elect. Therefore I will stand strong today. I will smile at my fellow citizen – listen to them, and create peaceful and productive ways to give us all America. I will learn from people’s pain, and I will change what I am able to change. I will change my insight. I will change my heart. I will choose to speak good when there appears to be nothing but bad.

I will not decide that someone is less of a person because of who they voted for. I won’t think that the leaders, elected or not, are less people than we all are. I will not sit on a computer and argue with people who are hard for me to see as people behind facebook comments. I will talk with them so that we can all remember that we are American – that we all are people. We are the people.

I will hope, as it has for hundreds of years, that America will always prevail. That we all remember that men are created equal – even presidents. I will hope that you will still be my fellow American even if you voted differently than I did. I will give a chance to the American people to surprise me in the way they respond in pain. I will hope, that America remembers that veterans fought to make this the land of the brave and the home of the free. And I will make my voice heard by loving my neighbor.

Because I’m American.

…because love wins.



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One thought on “An Open Letter to America on Veterans Day 2016

  1. Wow. Girl you are a life-speaker. Your words are so beautifully written. They made me want to cry and they made me feel joy. I love you chica bonita. Gods blessed you with a lovely way of putting words together and a beautiful message to spread. Blessed to be a friend at your side along this journey.

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