Spectators help raise a 36-foot American Flag during the Fourth at the Fort event at the Fort Pitt Museum, Monday July 4, 2022, in Pittsburgh. Credit: Matt Freed / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP

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I choose to be a minister and an optimist in my old age. I believe in people. I believe in America. I believe in the Church. I believe in God. I am full of beliefs and I find ways to refresh those beliefs and values. I still stop for strangers (it’s a Maine thing!). I give up my seat for women and people older than me, which becomes harder with every birthday. I respect other peoples and I respect the flag.

In all my beliefs and behaviors, I have a hope for humanity. I used to love those old monster movies where the people of Earth come together to survive by beating back the monsters as one united people. Sure, the plot is old and thin but effective.

The movies mirror society. We can come together as one people for our common good. Climate change will unite us together as a common people for the common good. The threat of another global war has united us in supplying Ukraine against the invading Russia (Slava Ukraini). We are strong and indivisible as Americans because of our heritage and ability to grow as a nation.

I choose to be a Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I choose to be an optimist about humanity. I do not surrender to despair or apathy because that’s too easy. The hard things are worth fighting for and striving to accomplish. We are divided tongues in America, yet one people.

James Weathersby