Let’s have a Coronado-Style July 4!

Red, white, and blue outfit check; fireworks at the Doko Meadows Park, check; summertime picnic food, semi-check. Someone will surely invite Delaine and me to an event, because our nation is having a birthday.

Home of the free and the brave; America the beautiful; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; God bless the USA!

What lofty words and concepts, but we’ve heard other voices too. They spew rhetoric that denigrates those who do not see issues homogenously, and they have disdain for open debate and compromise.

But if I close my eyes and reminisce, I can recall “America the beautiful” as witnessed by Delaine a few years ago.

Delaine and I were in San Diego on July 4 because I was a delegate to the National Education Association’s Representative Assembly. While I dutifully listened to discussions on the convention floor, Delaine explored nearby Coronado, a picturesque iconic representation of small town America – well-maintained moderate sized homes with white picket fences, American flags in every front yard, cookouts, and a July 4 parade.

Neighbors genuinely smiled and talked to each other, and the community held out the welcome mat to strangers such as the tourist, Delaine.

Coronado’s attitude about celebrating July 4 is the key to healing our nation.

We must communicate with our neighbors and find common bonds to facilitate the establishment of communities that have solid foundations. Coronado’s successful celebration was not by chance; it took planning, cooperation and attention to detail.

We cannot change the hearts and souls of all people, but fortunately that is not our responsibility. We are responsible for transforming ourselves. That transformation can begin with our willingness to be respectful of other points of view.

As July 4 approaches, let’s pause to consider what makes our country great.

God bless America!