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Just stop it, USA; be thankful

On this day after Memorial Day, on this bright, hot Tuesday morning, I have a message for America. JUST STOP IT!

Yep, that’s what hit me today. We as a nation need to stop our moaning and groaning and fussing and fighting amongst ourselves. I’m pretty sure the rest of the world is getting a little tired of hearing it because I am tired of hearing it.

Throw every one of those Make America Great Again hats in the trash. We don’t need to make America great again, we need to appreciate what we have in this country, what we have as citizens of a free nation.

No, everything is not perfect. Yes, there is suffering and there are disenfranchised people that deserve better, but as a whole, we are a blessed bunch of folks.

True, we need to make changes to make things better. Luckily, we have the freedom and the right to make changes because we live in a democracy that allows people to have a say in things. If we discover we aren’t happy with the way things are going, we can change things with our voices and our votes. That’s not true in a whole lot of other countries.

I’m sick, sick, SICK of voices at the top of our government preaching fear and division. I want to hear about hope and possibilities for a change. I want to hear them talk about the greatness of this country.

It’s time, past time, for us to become the shining example the writers of the constitution imagined. That is not going to happen when we engage in name-calling, especially when a leader does it on a world stage.

Every single American needs to stand up and say, STOP because I do not believe anyone is enjoying the divided feeling we have in our nation right now. We must demand better from our leaders and from ourselves.

Yesterday, we honored the lives of people who gave their lives for this country. Their sacrifice demands better behavior from all of us.

I thought about a letter that my own grandfather wrote when he was in France during World War I. In it, he shared what it was like to spend a day burying the dead, giving a final resting place to soldiers who gave their lives because their country asked them to go and fight.

He wanted the families of the fallen to know they had an honorable burial. There was pain in every line of that letter. Would you tell those soldiers and the thousands who have died in other wars that America is not great?

It seems terribly disrespectful to all of those who answered when called upon to serve to believe in anything but the greatness of the nation they died serving. We owe them optimism not fear. They deserve a nation focused on liberty and justice for all — not for Republicans, Democrats or Independents. Not for a certain race, religion, sexual orientation, economic status, age or gender, but liberty and justice for ALL.

We must stop tearing ourselves apart over issues like abortion, immigration and gun control. We can find compromise. That’s what democracy is about, finding compromise, talking to each other instead of yelling our positions at each other.

I’m tired of it — aren’t you? Aren’t you weary of the war of words on the nightly news — no matter which news outlet you choose to watch.

Aren’t you ready for the tweeting to stop? Don’t you want to end the constant arguments that erupt on social media?

We can declare from the rooftops that America is already great and that we as Americans are grateful. We can refuse to have as a leader anyone who preaches division, anyone not committed to bringing unity and hope for every single citizen.

Most importantly, on this day after Memorial Day, on this bright, hot Tuesday morning, we can decide to change course. We can, everyone one of us, JUST STOP IT!

Nancy Blackmon is a former newspaper editor and a yoga teacher.

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