I am about 2/3 through the editing of my grandfather’s World War I diary. His comments about the war itself are limited and perhaps a bit understated. But they help to put into context some of the things I learned in history while in high school and college.
There are interesting similarities between what is happening now and what he wrote in 1933 (“My Grandfather’s Diary – The Last Entry”. We can build walls and keep people out; we can let the Atlantic and Pacific oceans protect from Europe and Asia; we can enact tariffs to protect American businesses. We have done it before and it almost ruined us and it didn’t keep us out of two world wars. We know what has been written on the pages of history; do we want to rewrite those pages (again)?
We are, for the most part, a nation of immigrants who seem to want to forget who we are. We are part of this planet and there is no way we can separate our lives from the other lives on this planet.
The recent decision by the British to leave the European Union may seem as if it were a rational and well-thought out vote but it is quickly appearing to be a vote based on fear and without a lack of thought. And the comments by some politicians indicate that they truly reflect the heritage of the “Know-Nothing” party of the early 19th century (when asked what they stood for or what they believed, many of this party proclaimed that they knew nothing).
We cannot turn back the pages of time to make a better life; we can only work today to make tomorrow better. We can live our lives in fear but fear only allows us to back up, not move forward. To reach the future, we must move forward.