A tattered passport from 1936 was a symbol of hope for a brighter future in a free country. The price was high-over three years of running and hiding, trying to just survive. It all began with a fear, a mistrust of a man who spoke at a rally in her small town. Grandma believed that he was hungry for power, and refused to let her boys be part of the Hitler Youth. The SS Officers pounded on her door, and that was the start of her frightful journey. She and her boys survived because she encountered kind people along the way, a baker and a shoemaker...people who risked their own lives to help them.
When terror struck at the Boston Marathon in 2013, people came out of the crowds and risked their lives for those who were hurt. This same compassion prevails in our country today, and it makes me proud to be an American. It is my hope that we are all able to realize that we are AMERICANS, not Democrats or Republicans, not Christians, Jews or Muslims, not African-American, White, Hispanic or Asian. We must never forget that freedom requires: knowledge of history, an understanding of the power of propaganda to twist facts, and the need to be aware of those who usurp power by demeaning others for their beliefs.