Recently, Vladimir Putin said something about Americans thinking that we are exceptional. The Founding Fathers of this country strove for exceptional values that would make the country great. Americans believe that all men regardless of race, creed, or religion are equal. We have passed laws that make that phrase have meaning. We enforce these laws!

We are not perfect by any means. We set the bar high and try to get everyone to see that viewpoint. If there is anything that sets America apart it is that we fought a very long and bitter civil war over this premise. Young men on both sides fought and died. It was truly a test for America the rest of the world watched.

Americans have died in two world wars. My grandfather fought in World War I; my own father fought in World War II. I also, like many baby boomers in this country, served in the military. What is clear is that Americans are willing to fight for allied countries and make the ultimate sacrifice for our allies. Nothing underscores this more than American sacrifices made in World War II against Germany and Japan. We came to the aid of almost every country in the world to prevent a real axis of evil from dominating the world. What a different world it might have been!

Winston Churchill once said, “Democracy is a terrible form of government.” I would have to agree with that. Democracy is and always will be a work in progress. Sometimes Americans have been misled by those who lead the country – but the remarkable thing is that if you choose to disagree with the government you won’t be arrested for it.

Dana Stern

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