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Friday, Dec 19, 2014
Letter of the Day

The strength of the American spirit

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It seems as if we’re entering into yet another new generation, the “Half-Staff American Flag Generation.” This generation began with a shock of sheer worldwide magnitude on Sept. 11, 2001, and then slowly returned to apparent normal only to inexorably grow in frequency, until now in 2013 our national flag flies almost constantly at half-staff.

Honoring our dead war heroes and the victims of near countless natural tragedies and acts of sheer violence and terrorism, our flag hangs low — mourning again and again. The list of life events is significant: 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, hurricanes and tornadoes, floods and earthquakes, Virginia Tech, the Colorado theater shooting, Newtown and now Boston. Our half-staff American flag keeps reminding us.

Despite this ever-present reminder, refuse to believe the future is as bleak and hopeless as it appears to paint itself. Look beyond the half-staff flag and regard with wonder the overwhelming number of sincere helping hands and hearts who always come to assist those in need — from the post-9/11 chaos, to the many natural disasters bringing out the best in the American spirit with ready donations of food, shelter and medical aid as quickly as it can be assembled.

Our great city of Boston most recently exemplified the highest and best character of our many generations working together to help those in distress.

May God bless the indomitable American spirit. Yes, our flag is again lowered to half-staff, but the American spirit chooses to stand tall in the land of the free and home of the brave. Carpe diem.

Bill Sweetnam

Palm Harbor

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