This tale begins in 1932 in Boston, Mass.
In grammar school, we had a course called “geography.” I then learned that New Mexico was a state and its largest city was Albuquerque, but it wasn’t its capital.
We also learned that the United States was only a piece of the Western Hemisphere, which was divided into three major sections, to the best of my knowledge:
North America (three countries)
Central America (seven countries)
South America (13 countries)
Almost everyone my age went through the same hardships of the Great Depression and World War II and we all suffered the same turmoils and emotions, but everyone had a sense of pride in our nation. We were “Americans.”
My service to our country began on Feb. 27, 1949, and ended Sept. 1, 1969.
As a citizen of the United States, I was also referred to as an “American,” no matter what country I was in. The word was synonymous with a person from the United States.
Today, it seems that the word “American” has been diverged to the point that everyone in this hemisphere is accepted to be the same as a citizen of the United States. A person from Germany doesn’t refer to himself as European and one from China doesn’t call himself Asian.
Every citizen, if they love their country, can only have one allegiance. Any person not a citizen of that country is a foreign national.
Like every family, each nation’s leaders have the prime obligation to take care of its own citizens first — then help others. Charity begins at home.
Yours in thought,
David W. Murphy
Retired master sergeant, U.S. Air Force