From The Editor

Appreciate America the Beautiful

As we drove our rented vehicle home from Colorado to Pennsylvania on September 13th, I gazed out the open window at the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Two mornings before, we were on our way to the airport when the NY, DC and PA tragedies struck, stranding us in Pagosa Springs. Gee, not a bad place at all to be stranded; we considered ourselves very lucky, of course. We were unable to take the rental car out of state that first day because such had not previously been arranged, so we stayed an extra day and a half until the rental agency cleared us to take it.

The long drive home was exceptionally beautiful, yet it was deceiving - how could so much death devastation, fear, and misery be happening on the other side of the USA, near home? The peaceful and colorful mountains stood solid and secure, the sun shone, and birds, wildlife, and livestock carried on like it was just another day. I became very appreciative of what we have here in the USA, and did not want to lose any of it or see any more harm come to it. Just to be able to drive freely from one state to another is a joy; freedom is a very precious thing.

America the beautiful was indeed looking beautiful that day, and it still is. It is home, and hearing the songs on the radio struck deep - we are very fortunate to live here. There's no place like America. The United States has some of the most beautiful countrysides, natural places, and open spaces. But we often take them for granted.

I thought about the way we treat our land and our natural resources unkindly, and even each other. We do not always do things right or do what is best for our land, our America. Sure, the economy is important, and the health of the land is also very important. Striving for a balance of the two is not easy, and unfortunately many important decisions are based on greed and selfishness. These may be part of human nature, but so are kindness, helpfulness and sharing, as we have seen by all the recent good will of the Americans. We rallied and came forth and pitched in and supported each other. We united like a healthy country does. We acted like Americans, with a refreshing, healthy, for-America attitude. It was heartening to see news coverage of the good in people and not just criminal acts.

The horrible 911 events stimulated a healthy and welcome change toward human unity and togetherness in the USA. Attitudes have changed, and appreciation for what we have here is back. We have all seen many things change for the better since that horrible day, and we can indeed be proud of these positive adjustments. I certainly hope they continue in each and every one of us, for our sake as humans and for the sake of our beautiful country, the United States of America. Remember the Americans who died in this tragedy, and all those who died in the past to give us this country, and respect those who may die in the future to keep it for us. Don't let their deaths be for naught; be respectful and kind to each other, AND to our precious land, because it will only be here for as long as we protect and take care of it.