Remember when President Kennedy spoke those words?
It was in 1963 and his message was an attempt to unify people around the need to free East Berlin. Kennedy voiced the world’s hope that one day, even East Berliners would be free. It wasn’t, though, until President Reagan was in office that the Wall came down. But, the world cheered that day.
Kennedy voiced the American spirit which advocates for freedom for the entire world. He knew that differences should not create hate. It was a good message then, as it is now. Unfortunately, today, there was a tragic shooting in a Jewish synagogue. That evil act is incomprehensible. It is beyond our ken to understand why someone, anyone, would randomly shoot people just because they are Jewish. How can a person shoot another because they are Jewish…..or, Black….or, White….or, Republican? How can anyone send pipe bombs to people, ostensibly because they are liberals? It is because terrorism knows no boundaries. If a terrorist doesn’t like something or someone, they choose to destroy that someone!
Eleven people died today because a man hates Jews. It is unbelievable, yet it is true. Last year, a Republican Congressman almost died because a man hated Republicans. These murderers are demented. It is the only way to explain their despicable acts. And, yet, despite the horror of these types of events, we all become human once again. We all become what we should always be…..and, that is, Americans.And that is the ONLY good to come out of this suffering and pain caused by this terrorist.
It’s a shame that we can’t always act with decency towards our fellow human beings, but we do allow political differences, and, in this case, religious differences, to get in the way of seeing others as individuals, NOT whatever religion, ethnicity, gender they are.
President Kennedy voiced the hope that we could all treat each other as equals and allow each person the freedom to choose his or her own path in life. His was a message of understanding that our fellow man or woman has the right to follow their own dreams.
Maybe “ich bin ein Berliner” can be restated for today as “Ich bin eine gute Person, und jeder sonst auch”. If I translated that right, it means: I am a good person and so is everyone else. Now, THAT is a good philosophy for us all.