I just finished John Kerry’s EVERY DAY IS EXTRA. It is a remarkable memoir by a decorated veteran, dedicated public servant and enthusiastic citizen of the world. I had the distinct pleasure to hear Mr. Kerry preview this book at the BookExpo America in June in NYC. That night I was restless, composing in my head the subsequent op-ed/blog–
In his afterword, he notes that “I was tempted to write that I was born into a gentler and simpler era at home and abroad. But, on reflection, I wasn’t. The LEAVE IT TO BEAVER America of the 1950s had much to admire. For most, jobs came with pensions and economic security. We were an optimistic country. But we were also a country where Jim Crow was still the law and ‘Whites Only’ signs dotted the landscape in half of our country, and were unspoken but just as real for the other half. Women were devalued and LGBT Americans had to be invisible to avoid persecution.”
He further goes on to conclude that “‘the good old days weren’t always good.’ That’s not an insult to America, that’s an affirmation of America: an America that makes itself stronger, when despite long odds and searing setbacks, everyday citizens stand up and decide that the way things are isn’t the way things have to be…The strength of the United States is derived not from a party, not from a leader, but from a natural resource that is renewable: the resolve of our citizens and their commitment to make the American ideal a reality.”
Thank you, John Kerry and to quote the last word in his book – ONWARD!