By Walt Tandum
The current political scene is a mystery and for some of us even a bit comical. Nobody seems to like the current regime and everyone promises big changes, but offer few hints just how it is all supposed to work. Being a member of the very advanced senior citizen population we could offer some suggestions, but every request from candidates or their party comes with an expected financial contribution. Nobody suggests that we might be spending too much money and surely the media doesn’t mind the struggle and do offer varied points of view.
I am so old that I remember the day that FDR died and witnessed the panic that most people experienced when they realized that a very unknown person was advancing to the Presidents position. Harry Truman was hardly known but surely when that term was over he would be replaced. Nobody could imagine that he would one day make earth shaking decisions that brought about the end of the war that was raging all over the world
I was eighteen years old when the election of 1948 was held and it proved to be a huge upset when Truman won over Dewey. It didn’t look like he had a chance and newspaper headlines in eastern cities were published celebrating Dewey’s victory. President Truman was a very plain spoken person and was called by some “Give them hell Harry”. His remarks while brusk were always well thought out and no matter which party a person might belong to they had to respect his wisdom. Eventually there were plays and movies dedicated to celebrate his contributions to the world.
The ensuing years included the use of the atomic bomb and the end of World War 11 and the war that nobody saw coming in Korea. The Marshal Plan was installed and even way back then the people of the United States were leading the world in humanitarian contributions and actions.
There are those who can find fault in just about everything that our government and our citizens have done since our nation was founded. Sure there were some mistakes made along the way, but you will find even larger problems in other parts of the world. There are those who see discrimination in every corner and I have to say that things look a heck of a lot better than when I was a kid. Much progress has been made but it will never satisfy everyone and I often question the motives of those who see demonstrations and violence as the only way to solve the problems they perceive.
Those who question our emigration policies and practices just can’t believe that every last one of us other than native Americans are emigrants. All of our ancestors came from someplace else and they were all seeking a place where they could be free and live a better life. Each ethnic group faced problems along the way and maybe some of the hurt they felt might still be around, but most are now proud to declare that they are indeed citizens of a great country.
On my father’s side of the family they came from Norway and his father was a skilled woodsman who built lumber mills and raised a family with three boys and one daughter. He and his wife came here in different ways and were married in Everett Washington, as their family grew they insisted that only English would be spoken in their home. The three boys all served their nation with two in the Navy and the other in the Army. The family always demonstrated their pride in our wonderful nation.
It was surely just fate that brought about the day before my birthday being called “Flag Day” So every June 14th people display their flags and towns have flags flying. I have been privileged to help place those flags along the main street and they certainly do brighten up the place. Many people wave and toot their horns while giving a thumbs up signal.
This year you will note something different as you drive in to Wheeler. With the approval of the City Council we have elected to have flags on the city signs on both ends of town. They are properly lighted for the night time hours and will fly 24 hours a day to let everyone know how much we love our flag and our nation. No matter who wins the contest that will drag on for the next few months we will continue to demonstrate that freedom and democracy will continue to be our passion and full time responsibility. This movie will have an end that some of us will live to see.