I went today to attend a program at my daughter's school. The theme was patriotism, after the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. It's scheduled this week so family members in town for Thanksgiving can attend.
It was cute and all until they sang about being the generation of the future. And then they sang, "We have the chance to do it right."
And I got all gooey watching these kids -- who clearly believed so totally in what they were singing -- dance and sing about America being the land of opportunity, so open to immigrants, the poor, the huddling masses.
It was hard not to think about how we're fighting about immigration and occupying Wall Street and all. It was hard not to realize as they sang about remembering that most of them hadn't been born yet in 2001.
I hope they have the chance to do it right. I hope we educate them well enough. I hope we teach them history -- real history -- so they don't repeat the mistakes of the past. I hope this generation puts the emphasis on compassion more than greed. I hope they don't have to occupy anything but their space in the world. I hope they leave that world better than they found it.
I hope there's still time for my generation to do the same thing.