The gently sloping hills of Arlington National Cemetery overlook the nation’s capital. From this vantage point, thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines look across the Potomac River in formation. It is as if in their passing, they continue to look over us and the country because it is their legacy. Here, colonels are among corporals and privates among generals. Alas, they have come together for their final rest. Some served for a short time while others did so for a lifetime. But now, time is irrelevant as we salute them, pay respect to their deeds forever as they have arrived for their final rest.
A good friend in Michigan announced the very recent passing of his father. I never met his father, but the son, my friend, is someone with whom I have spent time discussing things professionally and also passing time as we solved the world’s problems. The man was in his mid-nineties and a World War II veteran. A year has passed since I received a similar announcement from another friend in New York. In the latter case, I had met her father once, and we had dined together, having had a great, enjoyable and memorable evening.
A quick search indicates that slaves may have been brought to North America in the 1500s. Other sources point to the early 1600s. It is safe to say that slaves were brought to North America over 400 years ago.
As Black History month nears its end, we should all think about how patient, tolerant, and forgiving the African-American community has been toward this country and its political leaders throughout this country’s history.