Sen. Albers Op-ed: Better Days Are Still Ahead

I struggle with words to describe the grave events happening in America and around the world this summer. I fell to my knees to pray on several occasions. Investigations will be conducted and we will all look for answers, but there will be none which change the past. I reject the notion that a few bad people will divide our great nation, the pundits and press sensationalizing every moment to create additional controversy and the leaders and groups who will use these tragedies for personal gain. We will mourn those who lost their lives, take a deep breath and move forward. After all, we are all citizens of the greatest nation on earth and with great resolve better days are still ahead. May God bless the fallen.

It is time to drop the labels, we are all Americans and part of the human race. Skin pigmentation, hair and eye color or other features should not define one another. It is foolish and divisive for anyone to think otherwise. Former President George W. Bush said it best during the memorial service for five Dallas police officers, “too often we just other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions.”

This September is the 15th anniversary of the most horrific terrorist attack our nation has ever seen. The days following September 11, 2001 proved our country’s resolve and unity was stronger than ever. Perfect strangers helped each other, people lined up to give blood and a rush of new recruits enlisted to serve our county in the Military. Do you remember how you felt on September 11 and the days after? Did you thank a police officer or give blood? Did you have a tear in your eye when you passed a fire station? Did you talk to complete strangers or give grace and forgiveness? Did you rethink your priorities or just hug your family and say I love you more often? Did you get on your knees and pray for those who lost their lives and the families who were left behind? Did you proudly display the American flag?

During and after the Vietnam War, our soldiers were treated poorly. It was wrong and as a result, people got smarter and the American spirit got stronger when our soldiers were called to active duty to serve in Desert Storm, the War on Terrorism and other actions. Yellow ribbons were proudly worn and welcome home events became the special celebration they deserved. This same respect and honor needs to be shown to our Police Officers now. They need our support and prayers. First responders are the heroes of our community and put their lives on the line every day. To all the critics and pundits, if you really want to make a difference — go fill out an application, go through the academy, put on a badge and help serve your community. As my friend and hero Colonel Mike Steele says, “Patriotism without action is counterfeit.”

We are America, the greatest nation in the history of earth. It is time to renew our spirit and be part of the solution. May God Bless America!