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Sarasota Thursday, Jun. 29, 2017 2 years ago

Spirit of America: Remembering our past, how we got here

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In our history, we as Americans have faced many challenges and hardships. It’s the spirit we share in common that always pulls us through. 
by: Kat Hughes Executive Editor

Times, they are a changin’. I’m reminded of this often, as I try to keep up with the newest social media platform, or learn the new features of my iPhone. Or, as folks of my generation talk disparagingly about millennials, or “kids today” or any number of things about “the way things were.”

And I’m 36. 

I often wonder during these discussions if people have always felt this way. Is this new, or have people always felt like the changes in our country were something to fear? Have people throughout the generations felt like we as a society are losing ourselves and our values as we evolve?

I suppose it depends whom you ask, and how they view change. 

Read More: Spirit of America home page

For me, it’s at times like these that history can lend us some perspective about the things we face today. 

In the Observer's Sprit of America special section, we tried to do just that. We found members of our community who experienced times of change in our nation’s history. We wanted to hear about how things were, and what affect these events and changes had on people at the time. 

A lot of these times were tough. Times of war, of strife, of growing pains as a country and a society. These people’s stories reflect that.

Some are sad, such as Gerard McParland’s tale  on what it was like to be a firefighter working at Ground Zero after 9/11. Others are inspiring, such as Arleane Stier’s story on the lessons of gratitude she gleaned from the Great Depression. 

All of them hopefully will help remind us that yes, even though we are divided right now as a country, and yes, things have changed, it’s not the first time. 

In our history, we as Americans have faced many challenges and hardships. It’s the spirit we share in common that always pulls us through. 

So let us not lose our perspective. May the tales of history continue to shine as examples of the things we can overcome as a strong, united nation. And may we all work to keep our history — and the spirit of America — alive.

 

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