“Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:” – KJ Bible.
Was a choice ever made? Do we ever think about it and go “Yes, I want to change everything about me, and become part of this other people/this other nation/ this other way of living.” Do we even change? Or do we just find the place we want to be, the place that is like us.
I’m not talking here of refugees. They go, poor things, in a rush, often pushing wheel barrows of all their possessions. (This image has been much on my mind recently.) And I’m not talking about economic migrants. They go where they can earn a livin, and most of them return. The ones who don’t…. some at least have found the place they were meant to be. Others stay because the kids now belong to this other place. The “wisdom” in Portugal is to return where the kids are raised, and before they can wife. Not that I ever intended that. Not that there anywhere to go outside America. Probably, strangely there never was.
It has been on my mind, in the way of sad recollections Operation Eagle Claw, when Jimmah sent men to die in a poor planned mission to rescue the Iranian hostages.
I was seventeen then, and my heart broke. Believe it or not all around me people gloated that the Americans had failed and been humiliated (I was in school. Most people at least pretended to be leftists.) And my heart broke. It broke twice: it broke for the people who’d died, and the pain Americans were suffering under an incompetent president. And it broke that I couldn’t be here, to share in the burden.
I think that’s when I knew whatever happened in the world, and in my life, I would end up here, because in my heart I was already one of you. I suffered when you suffered, I triumphed when you triumphed.
Later there were choices. I chose to marry rather than take a job offered because, well, I fell in love. That he was American just made things more convenient. Had I married anyone from any other nationality, I’d have to bring them here, and that might take time.
But those were secondary choices. The choice to become American wasn’t. It needed, even so, a lot of effort, to learn to live here, and adjust my mind to fit in. But you see, there really was no other choice. It was already the home of my heart, and I think the Bible also says wherever your heart is, your body will follow.
I’m one of you now. I wed the country as firmly as I wed my husband. My children are Americans. I’m an American. There is no other choice and nowhere else to go. There probably never was.
Oh, IF America falls — no, I don’t think we will, though I’m telling you it’s going to look a lot like it for a decade or maybe a little less — there still wouldn’t, in practicality, be anywhere else to go.
When America sneezes, the world catches pneumonia. We’re going to have it rough, which means the rest of the world will die in droves.
But of course, in the place of my origin, I have family and connections — strained and frayed, granted, but still there — and people who’d take us in, and it’s highly unlikely my family would ever starve. (They’ve survived anarchist revolutions, and national bankruptcy and…. there are ways, and they find them.)
Even so, it’s not a choice. I could not live there with my heart over here. It’s easier to suffer in the land you love, and with your compatriots than to be secure in a land where people gloat at the misfortunes of America.
I know every time I go over, to visit, I spend the whole time praying that nothing major will happen that will seal me off from coming back home. Because this is where my heart lives.
We’re going to have a rough time. There is no mistaking it. I don’t know when things will explode, but I can guarantee they will. And then…. And then it’s going to get very rough. Very rough. Pray, and stay alert, and keep your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark. Be ready to melt like shadows or stand like men. At times both will be called for.
But at least we’re all together.
Remember you’re Americans. You’re the proud heirs of something the world has never before seen: the common man having a say in their governance, and power to go with it.
Never forget it. And don’t let it slip from you. Pass that flag, with the glorious stars and stripes unstained to your children.
Be not afraid.
None of us got a choice. Not you and not me.
But it is our very great privilege to live in a time when freedom is imperiled. It is our very great duty to protect it.
Our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor. A price that was once paid. And might yet be required of some of us.
And it will not be a choice. And it will be worth it.
In the end, great stories are always about death and blood. Spend yours advisedly.
Stand as Americans. That is also not a choice.
Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people,