He was a businessman, not a politician. He wasn’t perfect, nor do I believe he claimed to be. However this man of finance saved our country on two different occasions. Once when he kept the entire U.S. Treasury from failing, with his own gold. The other was when he bought enough stock to secure Wall Street from collapse.
J.P. didn’t do this because it was good for his fortune, he did it because it was right for the country. He loved our nation as much as Its leaders, and he offered his help where it would make a difference. Morgan stepped up when his unique abilities were needed the most.
Today I heard a story of a child whose Father’s sacrifice lead him to honor our military. This small boy stirred my passion for our nation. Because this “Gold Star Kid”, as he proudly called himself, never got to meet his Father, he honored the soldier he saw at a restaurant. It was his way of saying that the sacrifices made by those who walked ahead of him, are worth following after.
The banker and the boy weren’t soldiers, but they loved their country. Is she perfect, no, but I don’t recall Lady Liberty ever making that claim. What I do recall is another credo that met immigrants longing for a new life.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” What’s the point? The broken became bankers, doctors, and lawyers. Those who struggled to learn how to communicate in a new land went on to see their children thrive here. Presidents pointed to a heritage began in poverty.
Some became soldiers who fought and bled for our right to worship, to speak freely, and to choose our leaders. Others may not have taken up the sword, but they took up the plough, the bond, or the mantle. We don’t have to be Washington or Lincoln to make a difference here, but all of us can make an impact.
Like the banker and the boy, we are Americans. We should be as passionate about this country’s future as we are its grand heritage. No, you’re not a soldier, you may just be a businessman, or not even of age yet, but you are a citizen.
Act today, in whatever way you can, to preserve what it means to be an American. It’s future should be greater than its past, but we must make it so. The baton we’ve been handed is more than a scrolled set of documents sealed in blood. It’s an ideal, a virtue, and a gift from God.