America’s Hope: Leadership, Vigilance, Collaboration
These are challenging times for America, but for those who cherish the nation, we must remain confident that we will endure.
America, despite the challenges, will rise as radiant as a morning summer sun.
These verses from The Stars and Stripes Forever, the official National March of the United States of America, must serve to resuscitate our hearts with a renewed devotion:
Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.
This American treasure, was written by the composer John Philip Sousa in 1897. Sousa was a patriot who grew up during the Civil War with a devotion to inspiring the nation through music.
The song was influenced by the tragic loss of his band manager, which prompted Sousa to terminate his European holiday and return home to America.
America is now at a crossroads, and music from our tradition has the capacity to inspire leadership, vigilance and collaboration.
These qualities are desperately needed for the reawakening of the nation.
America Demands Ethical Leadership
The contemporary issues facing America demand leadership from competent, ethical, and inspirational leaders who are truly dedicated to the nation.
America demands ethical leadership, individuals who will steer the ship of the nation with steady hands and personalities that inspire confidence.
We must be honest about our current leadership crisis since throughout every facet of society—corporate, government, sports, entertainment, faith-based communities, schools, and families—we experience the flaws of human nature. These flaws, expressed through continuous scandals, do not represent the best of any of us. These scandals do not represent the best of America, and our nation deserves a reawakening.
Character must be the heartbeat of all entrusted with the responsibility of leadership. With good character the heartbeat of America, it will be the antitoxin for remedying challenges, deficiencies, and divisions.
The issues of immigration, national security, civil rights, violence prevention, discrimination, veteran’s services, education, police-community relations, racism, unemployment, and poverty are surmountable.
American will conquer these shortcomings when we have ethical leadership throughout the nation. But leadership will only be able to inspire, empower, and persuade when it is energized by character.
America Demands Unwavering Vigilance
While sitting at a meeting this week of the National Law Enforcement Associates (NLEA) with 125 law enforcement and private security professionals, there was a moment when everyone spontaneously received an Amber Alert on their smartphones.
The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Program’s website provides the following definition of this outstanding program:
“The Amber Alert Program is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies, and the wireless industry, to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases. The goal of the Amber Alert is to instantly galvanize the community to assist in the search for and safe recovery of the child.”
Fortunately, the Amber Alert Program proved to be successful on Feb. 7, as a 2-year-old Staten Island toddler snatched by her father was rescued. This took place in just a few hours after the abduction.
The Amber Alert prompted a vigilant driver, Rui Fernandes, to contact the NYPD after matching a vehicle and its plates with details communicated to his phone.
This is a practical example of positive results for our communities, possible when vigilance is the order of the day.
Vigilance is also the heartbeat of our military personnel and we must be profoundly grateful.
The world is often a dangerous, volatile, and tumultuous place. Our armed forces must always be honored for their service. The liberty, freedom and way of life that America cherishes is only possible because of their sacrifices.
America Demands Collaboration
Collaboration within every facet of American society is critical as divisiveness is demoralizing, discouraging, and disheartening.
For the best interests of America, collaboration is critical between government officials, political parties, police and communities, corporate leaders and employees, faith-based servants and their congregations, educators and students, and family members.
Collaboration, particularly among government leaders, is also critical to fostering diplomacy and good-will between nations.
In another verse of the song “The Stars and Stripes Forever’ are these immortal words:
A flag appears ‘mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom’s shield and hope.
The eyes of the nation, and indeed the world, are upon America. All who are privileged to live in the land of the free must boldly profess our patriotism. The profession of patriotism must be expressed not only in song but in action.
America is destined to be freedom’s “shield and hope” and we must not disappoint, but inspire those who are watching us.
Vincent J. Bove, CPP, is a national speaker and author on issues critical to America. Bove is a recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for combating crime and violence and is a former confidant of the New York Yankees. His newest book is “Listen to Their Cries.” For more information, see www.vincentbove.com