I am a child of the 1960s. This is true, even though I have never been to San Francisco with flowers in my hair. Nor did I participate in the love-ins in 1967, nor attend Woodstock.
I did walk three to four miles with a friend to pick wildflowers between 8 and 10 years old. I did paddle in a creek under a railroad trussel until age 12 — when I transferred to swimming in the South Umpqua. I did hear the school principal announce "Your President has been shot!" while in class at Riddle High. I did hand out fliers in support of Sen. Robert Kennedy in 1968, that was in Portland days before his final speech in Los Angeles.
I do recall a discussion in social studies class in the spring of 1963. The topic: What reasons could we give for the USA remaining a world power, since in the world's history, both Greece and the Romans had been a world power ... and have since crumbled?
We presented our ideas with this conclusion: "We are the land of the free and the home of the brave."
In my retirement years I have reviewed American history. I note that European settlers resettled American natives to reservations, then imported African Americans in shackles — are we free now?
Recently, a number of American citizens were left behind enemy lines. Are we brave?
What say ye, my friend? Is it time to speak truth to power in the halls of Congress?
The answer is blowing in the wind.
Patricia A. Reeves