Now, I am in so many ways proud to be an American. On this day, as we remember the men and women who serve our nation, I am acutely aware of their sacrifice. When I look through the pictures of our travels in Cambodia or watch a movie about Vietnam, I think: I freely traveled those lands and peacefully explored the Ancient Buddhist ruins. They crawled through jungles filled with bombs and snipers. When I think about my travels in Europe, I remember that the North Atlantic could have been ruled by a crazy man if not for the Allied Forces. I got to backpack across the EU and experience the cathedrals and castles of ancient Christendom. When I think about my friendships with African American brothers and sister, I remember the heroes of the Civil Right Movement and the bloodiest war in our nation’s young history (our only Civil War).
And on this day, as I think about my work,– which never has nor will likely ever include harnessing a gun–it makes me want to be excellent too. It makes me want to bridge divergent peoples. It makes me want sow seeds of peace wherever I go. And it makes me want to help make the best out of the bad situations in which we find ourselves so often in this global era. And then, I hope that my children will be able to say they peacefully explored the ancient ruins of Babylon and scaled the heights of the Hindu Kush and lived in a era filled with good will and a growing trust.