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America

I’ve been kind of depressed for the past few days. I think it is just the weight of the ugliness I have experienced during this endless presidential campaign. I’m sure a lot of you feel the same way. I love America with all my heart. I’ve lived in a number of places in this great country and have traveled to many others. Since I was a child, I have loved to travel by car. Now as an adult, I always drive everywhere–even if I’m going a long distance. I love to look at the countryside and to interact with other Americans along the way. I’ve driven from Boston to Albuquerque, to LA and San Francisco. I’ve driven all over the Midwest, up to North Dakota, Minnesota, across Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania. I’ve driven down south to Florida, and made stops in Georgia, North Carolina. And of course I’ve driven all over the Northeast, from Maine down to NYC. America is a beautiful country.

Today while I was driving home and listening to NPR, a story came on about Jose Feliciano and his performance of the national anthem at the 1968 world series in Detroit. It was an amazing rendition of the anthem–probably the first time many heard it sung in a more informal, idiosyncratic style. It was beautiful, but many people thought that Feliciano was trying to make some kind of political statement. He wasn’t. He was just singing for his beloved country. When I heard him sing, I started to sob. His voice and the words struck a cord in me. I felt the deep love for America and Americans that has always been there. I also remembered another rendition of the National Anthem that affected me similarly. Continue reading