Veterans Day is tomorrow, and if you have the time and inclination, I want to encourage you to visit Voices of Veterans, an oral history program designed and run by the Texas General Land Office.
In light of recent events, I would like to once again share some thoughts on what I consider two essential pillars of our society – the First Amendment and the American flag.
Like all who served in the military, I believe that First Amendment rights are the foundation of this great country. In fact, the military officer’s oath requires each man and woman to swear that they will “support and defend the constitution of the United States.” All Americans should have the right to protest their concerns.
Throughout my life and career, anything I may have achieved can be attributed to lessons instilled in me by my teachers – from kindergarten all the way through college. From the pre-med and accounting professors who gently convinced me those fields were not a good fit for me, to the journalism professors who welcomed me, and taught me how to gather facts, organize and present my thoughts.
Like you, my emotions have run the gamut over the last week – from deep concern over Harvey and its effects, to great pride in the first responders and everyday citizens who have rushed to the aid of their fellow Texans. In the midst of this tragedy, we have shown why Texas is special and how Americans from all walks of life can come together to help one another. It is truly, truly inspiring!
When my seventh grade teacher assigned an essay on a “prominent individual,” there was just one person I had in mind, a man whose work I had admired since my family’s days living in France. The only problem: my teacher had never heard of him. Hard as it is to believe today, few Americans in the mid-1960s – not even my teachers – knew about the great scientist, author, and undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau.