Monday, November 2, 2020

Election Eve

 November 2nd

Today I finished scanning the last of my grandparents letters, postcards and documents from WW I and beyond. Most of the letters and postcards are correspondence from when my grandfather was in the German army and wooing my grandmother. But there are a few items from when he died, suddenly, of a heart attack, in St. Louis, long after they had escaped Nazi Germany. And there are a few documents from when they gratefully emigrated to the US In 1938, after obtaining visas and permission to leave.

There are two passports. One for my grandfather, and one for my aunt, who was 14 when they sent her to the US a year before the rest of the family left. The passports are interesting in that even though I can’t read them I can see where my grandfather’s citizenship in Germany was revoked, by a slash through some of the information.

 I know the stories about how angry he was, how he sat his family down after they were safe in America and told them, “you are no longer Germans, you are Americans,” and forbid them to speak German at home. I know he was deeply angry at what had happened. After all he fought for the Kaiser in WW I, put his life on the line, and earned an iron cross, and then the nazis came to power.

So tomorrow is Election Day. I hope to God that when all is said and done Trump will be long gone and decency will prevail at last. But nothing is certain at this point. What does it mean to love your country? Cause I do, faults and all. I love the ideals set forth in our constitution, even though we mostly fall short of embracing them.

I don’t agree with the “love it or leave it” philosophy. I think love it, but hold it to a high standard. Love it, but insist that it do better. Love it, and work for its improvement.

Whatever happens in the next day or week or month, this is still my country. Even if Trump wins. Even if the forces of evil prevail for a time. “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” It does. It does.



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