Every four years this week has special meaning for our nation.
We celebrate democracy as we swear in a new president to lead our Republic and we honor Dr. Martin Luther King for the role he played in bringing civil rights to all Americans.
I was born overseas and grew up in various countries and cultures.
I have witnessed first hand the difficult and sometimes violent struggle other countries face during the transition of power, and how tenuous the various versions of democracy are in other countries.
I served as a Marine in Iraq and I count among my proudest memories helping to lead a Provisional Election Support Battalion to protect the first free elections held in that country in many years. Witnessing those proud Iraqis that bravely dipped their finger in ink as proof of their vote to take back control of their destiny is a memory indelibly etched in my mind.
I’m honored to be an American. I pray for our country and its leaders, I pray for unity and brotherhood.
Dr Martin Luther King’s legacy gives us hope for our nation.
As a young man attending school in Kenya, I remember being struck by the simple beauty and earnestness of that young country’s national anthem.
We sung it from memory before sporting events and at the movies.
I’ll leave you with the first verse as my prayer for our nation:
O God of all creation
Bless this our land and nation
Justice be our shield and defender
May we dwell in unity
Peace and liberty
Plenty be found within our borders.