“My Country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of Liberty, of thee I sing.”

It seems that every day, we wake up to news of another tragic event that leaves us with more questions, more uncertainty.

What is happening to our sweet land of liberty?

Yesterday, I sat with a childhood friend—who like me is in his mid to late 80s—and we watched children playing without a care in the world. Their parents, and even their parents’ parents, were there talking, laughing and enjoying themselves. A beautiful scene and one that painted a picture of perfection, harmony and love. It was as it should be, a truly, happy and joyous time. A celebration of two babies’ first birthdays, being attended by 40 or 50 mostly adults. My friend and I watched together. We each felt the love but both looked on with uncertainty and a little fear. Fear of what may come.

Daily events include shootings, rioting, killings, racial division, blame, finger pointing, and general chaos, and all contribute to a picturesque American birthday party that’s more drawn with water- colors than oil paint. A scene that could fade into a chaotic page of indistinguishable colors. Colors with no substance.

I get so much more pleasure writing about pleasant things. Things like family. Like birthday parties. Like old friends reminiscing about

old times. Like love." "But I cannot ignore or explain what is happening to our country. Like shots fired at a baseball game in our nation’s capital. People screaming and running for their lives. Taking refuge under stadium seats. Of a little girl, describing almost casually that this is her second shooting—about six- or seven-years-old, and her second shooting.

Of 40, or 50, or 60 shootings in a major city like Chicago, or New York, on a weekend. Of government officials saying this sort of vio- lence ‘always increases in the summertime’, as if we should just expect it. Of people being killed by those shooters, even little babies being killed. Killed by crazed shooters filled with hate and emboldened by the very government officials who refuse to arrest and or incarcerate them, but allow them to be free to kill again and again.

Some officials want to disarm the entire society, misleading us all that the criminals will also be disarmed. How foolish.

“Land where my fathers died / Land of the Pilgrim’s pride / From every mountain side / Let freedom ring.”

There are several more verses to this beautiful song; almost a hymn. But the last is most beautiful, less we forget: “Our father’s God to, Thee / Author of liberty / To Thee we sing / Long may our land be bright / With freedom’s holy light / Protect us by Thy might / Great God, our King.”

Frank Scalia


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