A message for a divided nation

Dear Annie: Being 76 years old and in the twilight of my life, I have truly “been there, done that” in so many ways. I have seen much, done much and still search for much. I give thanks to all those who have helped and empowered me over my lifespan. I give thanks to all those on whose backs and shoulders I have stood all this time. Only in America could have I been so blessed and fortunate in receiving all my gifts of love, laughter and life.

I still see America as being “half full,” rather than “half empty.” America still is great, because she has an innate strength and enduring stamina to heal her bruises and cleanse her wounds. America still is great, because she steadfastly promotes optimism and assertively overcomes pessimism. America still is great, because she indefatigably promotes inspiration and consistently defeats alienation.

I firmly believe most Americans want what is best for our fellow citizens and our country: fairness, opportunity, responsibility, education, respect, equality, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We are all in this together. Yes, we can overcome the hate, racism, greed, selfishness, anger and fear. Let us come together and be all that we can be. We can do this, for America (still) is the greatest! — John, retired sergeant major of the U.S. Marine Corps

Dear John: I hear from so many people who have had falling-outs with family members over politics in recent years. If more of us adopted your radiant optimism, perhaps we could brighten the times and bring people back together. Thank you, sir, for your service and your wisdom.