And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrongs shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth good-will to men.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote this in the middle of the Civil War on Christmas Day, 1863, after his son had enlisted in the Union’s cause and returned home seriously wounded. The words speak to the despair I think we all feel at this moment of crisis in our country.
The evidence exists that hate is strong when we need love to save us. Yesterday I watched in horror as the Military Police and mounted troops pushed peaceful protesters back, pelting them with tear gas and rubber bullets. What country is this? In my 76 years I’ve witnessed disgraceful actions: Kent State, the Rodney King riots, the unrest after the assassination of Martin Luther King, but I’ve never seen such blatant disregard for peaceful assembly.
If I weren’t concerned about spreading and contracting COVID-19, I’d be in Philadelphia today. I feel helpless and hopeless. Not a good state of mind at any time, but especially now. Today is the Pennsylvania primary. I voted by mail which assures that I will get a mail-in ballot in the fall. VOTE!
Our country has yet to celebrate its 250th birthday. Let’s hope we make it.