Lester: We are children of the same America

Kerry Lester

I am a Child of America.

I began my grade school days with my right hand over my heart reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

I took my cap off to sing the national anthem before my little league games.

I dressed in red, white and blue and handed out flags for parades.

I studied tales of old victory gardens, liberty cabbage and gas rations.

I looked fondly at ancient snapshots of my grandmother, who became a real life “Rosie the Riveter,” donning her saddle shoes and bobby socks for a night out with the girls.

In fact, I used to daydream of stepping back one day in time.

My choice, always, was the day the Second World War ended, with sailors kissing random nurses on the streets out of sheer joy.

I longed for fireside chats and alphabet soup – instead of Willy Horton and elections with no clear results three years later.

But still, each time I heard Francis Scott Key, I could feel the tears of pride welling up in my eyes.

I am a child of America.

Yet not so long ago, my country went to war.

Some of my friends, classmates and comrades have left to fight for something I do not understand.

This is no one’s fault but my own, as I have spent far more time counting calories and reading magazines than listening to the daily news.

I am a child of America.

How is it that the more I have, the less I care? For this war is not a Vietnam – there is not much bitterness in the air these days.

A few marches here and there, but how sad is it when the median age at college protests is 35?

My generation is said to rival that of the one I idealized for so many years – the greatest generation to figh t- to win the War to end all wars.

How can we be, I ask, if the only ones who seem to care are the ones off fighting in the desert?

We are, in fact, children of America.

In order to win this, or simply end this, we must once again pick up our forks to eat that pushed-away slice of apple pie.

After all, although we are indeed a nation of bounty and excess, the most effective way to lose that extra baggage and spring back into shape is both diet and exercise.