This was the opening scene from a Boston Bruins game last night. The first game since the Boston Marathon.
We live in America. It is a nation that often seems irreparable. The land of national deficit. The land of entitlement and opinion. The land of the divided. Republicans versus democrats. Life versus choice. Stricter gun control versus the 2nd Amendment. Same-sex marriage versus Proposition 8. There are moments we are at our worst, but then there are moments we are at our best. This “American Choir” singing our national anthem is one such moment.
We are much like siblings who are allowed to argue, pester, and fight each other. But when someone else steps into the picture, we rise to support. “I can hurt him, because he is MY brother. You leave him alone.” When faced with an attack, we surge to support one another. We cry. We mourn. We feel. We share. We give. In these moments, we see a glimmer of what may be, what could be. Like a mature brother looking back on life, we see places where we could have been better, we could have allowed the younger brother to come along, we could have extended more grace than ridicule, more kindness than condemnation. I hope we see in moments like Boston that we are much more the same than different. Despite my political agenda or personal beliefs, I can make this country better. “Winning” the argument rarely matters in the end. As so many disconnected family members can attest they would have now lost the argument to keep their sister. Stand for your beliefs, yes. But stand, not step, or trample, or kick. In the end, we are in this together.
Thankfully it is still the land of the free and the home of the brave. Let us be free enough to share our opinions, and brave enough to hear someone else’s. The key word may just be home.
It is my home. I am proud to be an American.