Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
— Ronald Reagan

This world we all live in has grown darker and darker in recent times. Gone are the days of Andy Griffith’s Mayberry where everyone knew you and was your friend. We pass each other by without so much as a “hello” or “how are you.” Our society has been shifting towards a more hostile nature, more prevalent in larger cities and population centers. There are some smaller cities and towns across our great nation where the neighborly spirit still lives on but for most of our 360 million people, that way of life is quickly becoming extinct. The origin of this life we now live, where everyone is at each other’s throats, is hard to trace back to a single point. It is my belief that we focus too much on our differences instead of our similarities. We feel that our differences set us apart from those we share a nationality with. This is a possible origin of the different “rights” groups that feel the need to defend their skin color or sexual orientation. Instead of looking at the latest news story of a child being gunned down after pointing an airsoft gun at a police officer and seeing that kid’s skin color, we should identify that the child was the future of our country. If we look at it that way, we can determine the real issue which lies in the child’s upbringing and not their genetics. Whatever your skin color or sexual orientation or political beliefs, we all have the same skeletal structure and cardiopulmonary system. We all fear, love, hurt, laugh, smile and grieve. Until we can understand that we are all equally human and equally American, we cannot return to the close-knit societies of the past.

When our strands of society’s fabric come undone and our weave with each other loosens, it allows potentially harmful objects to enter. Much like a tightly woven waterproof canvas, we are strongest against the “elements” when we are close with each other. The “elements,” for the sake of this metaphor, can represent terrorism, crime and those who wish us harm. Our greatest defense since we committed the original “Brexit” in 1776 has been our people. From the farmers and craftsman who took up arms together and defeated the strongest fighting force in the world, to the small but skilled military we have now that is completely comprised of volunteers and patriots, the defensive strength of America has been her citizens. The people who love their country, freedom and each other have been the ones to maintain the right to our way of life. 

The original Brexit. Gen. Washington leading a force of common men.   Photo:

When these elements penetrate our fabric due to the theoretical separation of the people, disasters happen. Much like if a waterproof container that holds a precious, fragile piece of paper were to let in a single drop of water, the priceless contents would be ruined. To be tightly woven and impervious to the elements means to watch each other’s back and to uphold each other. Many will tell you that in battle, as a member of the strongest social fabric known, the only things that matter are the people on your right and your left, the strands you are woven with. It is with this mindset that we are 2-0 in World Wars and liberated Kuwait from Iraq in a matter of days. it is because our military’s fabric is so tightly woven that we have become the standard against which all fighting forces are sized. A tightly woven society is impenetrable and invincible.

How do we right our ship and close the gaps in our fabric? It begins with the mindset of our nation. We must set aside all of our differences and focus on what we have in common which is citizenship in the greatest nation this world has ever known. When we are able to once again love our brothers and sisters, we will subconsciously be drawn closer together, thus regaining our “waterproofness.” By being close we can watch out for one another and give our country 360 million pairs of eyes to spot any enemies. To enter into where we are vulnerable, the enemy would have to pass through the fabric consisting of you and me. 

Americans standing together after 9/11.   Photo:

Americans standing together after 9/11.   Photo:

As stated above, our world has become increasingly dark and hostile, especially against those who enjoy the freedoms that America offers. Just as our nation was built by the hands of a tightly-woven society, it is sustained and protected by a tightly-woven society. A nation where each strand, or citizen, is close to one another ensures the maximum protection possible. It is through this method that I truly believe we can defend our country from mass shootings, bombings and terrorist attacks. The correct way to answer these violent events is not to create more laws but to solidify our relationships with each other and mourn as a country, vowing together that we would not let it happen again. As seen in the aftermath of September 11th, our nation came together as one to remember those who we lost and to let our enemies know we will not be shaken. In fact, in the couple years after we came together as a society following 9/11, there was a significant lull in attacks on US soil. I believe this can be attributed to our enhanced vigilance, our desire to care for each other and our heightened sense of awareness. Instead of blaming current laws, we swiftly identified the true enemy and sought them where they slept. 

September 15, 2001, 4 days after the attacks.   Photo: Bob Baillargeon

It is my wish that we can once again achieve love and trust for one another that we experienced after our country was attacked. It really shouldn't take a tragedy to bring us together. If we were together as one in the first place, that tragedy could've been averted. Let us learn from our history and once again become so tightly woven that nothing can penetrate our defenses. For the sake of our friends, family and future, we must once again become that waterproof society.

Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. And their grandchildren are once more slaves.
— D.H. Lawrence