Resident Encourages Community to ‘Stand Together’
In this Letter to the Editor, Tom Mortenson says it’s time for Americans to work with one another now that the election is over.
From Temple Terrace resident Tom Mortenson:
The Day After: Finally the political ads have come to an end. Our colors are not red or blue, but rather red, white and blue. Today is a time for all of us regardless of party affiliation to stand together for the good of our county. We are all Americans.
As the results of the election become clear, this is an opportunity to recall John Wayne’s speech on the Hyphen, which he found in Webster’s Dictionary defines as a symbol used to divide a compound word or a single word. His words echo true when we talk of partisan politics, too.
John Wayne was known for not only his acting, but also his patriotism and straight shooting personality, Here are some of his remarks in this speech worth repeating:
“Well, we all came from other places,
Different creeds and different races,
To form a nation...to become as one,
Yet look at the harm a line has done -
A simple little line, and yet
As divisive as a line can get.
A crooked cross the Nazis flew,
And the Russian hammer and sickle too-
Time bombs in the lives of Man;
But none of these could ever fan
The flames of hatred faster than
The Hyphen.” …
“It can be a bridge or be a wall.
A bridge can save you lots of time;
A wall you always have to climb.
The road to liberty lies true.
The Hyphen’s use is up to you.
Used as a bridge, it can span
All the differences of Man.
Being free in mind and soul
Should be our most important goal.
If you use The Hyphen as a wall,
You’ll make your life mean...and small.
An American is a special breed,
Whose people came to her in need.
They came to her that they might find
A world where they’d have peace of mind.
Where men are equal...and something more-
Stand taller than they stood before.
So you be wise in your decision,
And that little line won’t cause division.
Let’s join hands with one another...
For in this land, each man’s your brother.
United we stand...divided we fall.
WE’RE AMERICANS...and that says it all.”