Last week, I watched (for the umpteenth time!) the movie The American President starring Michael Douglas as President Andrew Shepard. A favorite to be sure. Towards the end he gives a speech before the White House Press Corp about what it means to be an American. During the speech he makes the following comments.
“America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, because it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, “You want free speech?” Let’s see you acknowledge a man’s words that make your blood boil, and standing center stage advocating at the top of his lungs, that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.”
The American President, Nov. 17, 1995; Castle Rock Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Columbia Picture Corp., Wildwood Enterprises, Digital Image Associates; Directed by Rob Reiner; Story and Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin
As I watched and read about the protests against Publix Supermarkets in Florida (where I am and will continue to be a loyal customer), these past few weeks, I reflected on these words. More importantly I thought about the men and women who gave their lives so Publix has the freedom to support political candidates of their choosing and the protestors who have that same right to voice their concerns.
It’s hard to listen to words or see actions of those you oppose. Perhaps this is one of the greatest challenges to being an American! But isn’t it amazing to live in a country where we all have the freedom to voice our opinions, no matter where your allegiances lie?
And we have the many fallen heroes from our founding fathers to those serving our country today to thank for that. So no matter which side you support on this or any other issue, let us never forget these brave soldiers who protected your right to choose.
It is my hope as we celebrate Memorial Day, 2018 we can stand side-by-side and say, “thank you, thank you, and forever thank you” to these brave and fallen heroes. You will not be forgotten. It is the very least we can do to honor their sacrifice.
Your Partner in Advocacy…Kathy