For many years the legendary journalist and news anchor Walter Cronkite closed his broadcasts with the phrase. “That’s the way it is”. And he was right, that’s the way it was…THEN…and it wasn’t bad. It was a time like no other in history. Back THEN news wasn’t bought and paid for by the wealthy, it was the truth for better or worse. Back THEN the government still understood that it is of the people and not master of them. It was a time when a person could let their kids ride in a truck bed, anyone could walk into a restaurant without a mask and adults could choose whether or not to wear a seatbelt without being viewed as boat rockers, Back THEN, people spoke to each other and not electronics which knew nor cared anything about them. It was a time when integrity was the mainstream social conscience, the measure of a person, and not a practice by those last in line to succeed.
THEN was a period where compromise was practiced because what should be was more important than “I need to be”. It was a time where the greater good was a moral conviction and not a conviction of convenience for what suited the wants of the few. Moments in time they were for a nation who accepted its misdeeds and righted its wrongs by ensuring policies to not repeat those errors. And in the same moments, people were forgiven by each other for accepting responsibility for those mistakes and all moved forward to build a different future. It was not a nation of people who hated one another, but one of people who hated an ideal that was not fair and just. Back THEN was a time when God was praised and feared because each generation taught of Him to the next. Every church, classroom, and dinner table was an opportunity to be thankful, to be corrected and to be witness to respect for God, country and the elderly by those who still understood its immense value.
See, THEN was a time when there was still a vision shared by what our Founding Fathers envisioned for a prosperous people. And for many years after, men and women carried on that spirit of those great men. They sacrificed for what was right because it was right. They led when they should and stepped aside when they shouldn’t. They taught when they could and learned when they couldn’t. They fought and died because principles were of more value than profit. Yes indeed THEN was a time of pride!
And if anyone should ever ask you if there was a time when the world they know today was any different. Tell them…tell them yes there was a time when we were the greatest nation the world had ever known, one feared and respected by every other. And the truth is, that’s the way it was…back THEN.