The Clock is Ticking - America Once Beautiful

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

America, how I remember thee. . . . . How I recall the passion of my youth and the pride I felt when I saw the red, white and blue waving high against the brilliance of the sky. How I sensed a dignity and a greatness within me that surpassed the sorrow of fallen patriots and nameless heroes who believed in the nobility and morality of country over self.

THE CLOCK IS TICKING -- AMERICA ONCE BEAUTIFUL

By Al Garcia

America, how I remember thee. 

How I recall the passion of my youth and the pride I felt when I saw the red, white and blue waving high against the brilliance of the sky.  How I sensed a dignity and a greatness within me that surpassed the sorrow of fallen patriots and nameless heroes who believed in the nobility and morality of country over self.  America, how I remember thee.

Born into a time and in a place where color, culture and tradition defined me more like chattel than the man I would become, I nonetheless felt the grace that was shed on me and on the promised brotherhood of man.  And I believed in America, even before America believed in me. 

It was the promise of what America could be and would become that inspired and stirred the hearts and souls of impassioned pilgrims and dreamers and romantics to trek across the wilderness and across the Rio Grande, and endure the agony, the heartbreaks and even the humiliation of being mistreated and abused.  My heritage survived the seasons, too many to count, and too many to ever forget -- for the dreams undimmed by human tears.  America, how I remember thee. 

Although I saw the vestiges of suppression, oppression and depression as I was growing up along the Rio Grande as a boy and as a young man, I never questioned America – it was my home, my country.  It was my America because it was my hard-earned legacy, left to me by faceless and nameless relatives, except of course for my Mom and Dad, whose sweat and tears and even blood, gave me the right to follow their dreams and to realize my own.  America, how I remember thee.

Growing up along the Rio Grande, I was confused by some of the people that surrounded me and that for some reason disliked me, loathed me and even despised me – yet they didn’t know me, didn’t talk to me, and they didn’t want to.  But most of all, during those early years, I was dismayed that they didn’t know I felt the hurt their stares and words and even unintended cruelty had on a young mind and heart like mine.  And for far too long, I too did not realize how much and for how long that hurt would last.  America, how I remember thee.

How strange to now live among the very people that once looked down upon my kind.  How gratifying to realize the heights we’ve reached and the dreams we’ve helped to make come true.  Yet there still remains the ugliness that once prevailed.  I see it where I live, and I sense it in the air – it is an attitude that never quite goes away, regardless of the progress and the strides we’ve made.  The shadows of my youth have returned to ignite unpleasant memories of the darkness that once covered the wounds and lesions of bigotry, racism and prejudice.  America, oh how I thought I had forgotten that part of thee. 

How sad to realize that after all these years of civility and respect, be it genuine or presumed, America and Americans are being taken back into the darkness that once consumed us, divided us, and weakened us as a nation and as Americans.

How sad to realize how many Americans long for the cruelty and depravity being advocated, supported and encouraged by those we put into power and whom we mistakenly thought were patriots and partisans of the American dream and the American experience.

I still believe in America, but America seems to be abandoning me and the countless heroes who more than self their country loved.  So many sacrificed their lives so the American idea and ideals would live in perpetuity.  Instead, their sacrifices are being buried under the ashes of unrealized dreams and abandoned hope.  Lies, deceit, treachery and duplicity have taken hold of America’s heart and soul.  Inspiration has been replaced by desperation.  Motivation has been replaced by hindrance and impediment.  And the American dream is being replaced by the silence of indifference and apathy. 

America once beautiful and free, now being sold to the highest bidder.  And once when I felt like chattel because of my heritage and my color, soon all Americans may feel the hurt I felt growing up.  And then, too late, they too may say, “America, how I remember thee. “

The clock is ticking . . .  America once beautiful – now tarnished and defaced by arrogance and the ruthless greed for power.


Submitted: June 01, 2021

© Copyright 2021 A.Garcia. All rights reserved.

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