The Indestructible Spirit Of America
Finding hope in glimpses of the next generation
Last week, I had the distinct pleasure and honor of addressing groups at the Ahavath Torah
led by Rabbi Jon Hausman in Stoughton Mass., and at the annual GOP “Steak-Out” in Nashua, N.H. As a paratrooper, I always think it is fun to jump behind “enemy lines” and cause disruption and confusion.I got back to South Florida on Saturday evening and after my own landing later drove down to Fort Lauderdale airport to pick up our Chinese exchange student, Wangying Lin. Lin decided to come back and spend a second year with us, her senior year in high school.As we sat at the airport, my youngest daughter Austen and her best friend Morgan beamed with excitement. It was wonderful to see them run to Lin, and it warmed my heart when Lin ran to me shouting “Dad.” Who would have thought when I was born in Atlanta in 1961 that 52 years later, a 17-year-old Chinese girl would call me Dad?
As I drove back to Palm Beach Gardens, as Angela slept and as the girls chattered in the back of the H3 Hummer, I pondered America, THE “land of opportunity.”
Wangying Lin’s quest for opportunity
Lin came to us a year ago as a timid young lady, and I am quite sure she did not know what to expect. She arrived smack dab in the middle of lots of election-year excitement. I remember when Lin met GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his wife Ann at Traditions in Port St. Lucie, Fla. And the time we took Lin to a gun show in Fort Pierce, she was blown away at the freedoms and liberties we enjoy.Lin got a chance to see and truly experience America.What she experienced most was the chance to be rewarded for her hard academic work. She now wants to continue her education in America and become a lawyer. Lin has been an outstanding influence on Austen, who just a week ago told Angela and me that she, too, wants to be a lawyer.
I know, some of you think the last thing we need more of in America are lawyers. Never fear, Austen and Lin will possess high moral courage.
See, America is the place that no matter where you are born, no matter where you come from, you have opportunities to succeed if you just take them.
However, consider the paradox of a government that now openly recruits citizens to get “food stamps.” Yeah, they changed the name to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and now give you an electronic benefits transfer card, but it is all the same – actually with less accountability.
Lin has not come here to be part of the dependency society; she is here to taste the American dream. And as a young lady, she just makes me very proud.
So I continue my reflection of young people in America and just smile when I think of my visit with the Londonderry U.S. Naval Sea Cadets last Saturday. I spoke before about 15 of these outstanding young men and women and was just impressed.They asked me about my past and told me about their future dreams. Yeah, they all want to attend the U.S. Naval Academy.Think about how our culture and the media show us the worse of today’s American youth – the horrific shooting in Duncan, Okla., of 23-year-old Christopher Lane, the sentencing of Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, the trial of the black teenager accused of shooting a 13-month-old baby in the face, point blank. Stories like these bombard us almost daily, it seems.
However, before me that Saturday stood what is best about us (and their parents). This is why we must wholeheartedly support the U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, , Young Marines and Sea Cadets programs.
This is where we find the next generation of American leaders. This is where it all started for me back in 1976 at Henry Grady High School in Atlanta.
No rest for the zealous
My weekend of witnessing astonishing young Americans was not complete in Londonderry. I was just humbled when Austen, Morgan and Lin all asked to go to church Sunday morning at Morgan’s Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in West Palm Beach. We got in at midnight from picking up Lin, but instead of desiring sleep, they wanted to attend church.And what an impressive service we witnessed. It was youth service Sunday, and the high school kids led the service – and I mean all of the service.They wore t-shirts depicting a diamond and the word “Undesirable” underneath, but the “Un” was crossed out. Seventeen-year-old Kaitlyn Bass delivered the message, centered on several scripture and the overall theme of Christ’s redeeming and empowering ability. Several young people offered their personal testimonies from the summer and their mission activities.
The service’s theme was zeal, and the related scripture was Romans 12:11, which reads, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”
As I sat writing this missive, I realized that heartfelt zeal, a love of and service to God and country, has kept America great over the past 237 years. That is what my own parents imparted to me.
Confidence born of God-given rights
See, regardless of being bombarded by the progressive, secular, socialist culture and media, America truly is indestructible. Our spiritual fervor is rooted in knowing that our unalienable rights emanate from our Creator, not government.Based upon President Obama’s weekly address last weekend, many Americans have reason to be concerned that he seemingly believes the opposite – that man is the giver, and indeed taker, of our rights. As I spoke to folks in Stoughton and Nashua, several times adults told me they are scared, nervous and losing hope.Well, rest assured, I saw the next generation in action this last week – the Londonderry Navy Sea Cadets, the young people at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church and the young women in my own home. The challenge is simple: Shall we, the current generation, lose our zeal of ensuring that the journey to the American dream for the next generation does not end on our watch.
To Obama and the liberal, progressive, secular, socialist establishment, we say “Molon labe!” America, and the next generation, is secure because America is an indestructible spirit that is blessed by Divine providence.
Be looking for a special Wednesday edition of this newsletter next week as we mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, and you will see a momentous manifestation of that spirit on display.
Steadfast and Loyal,
Allen B. West
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