Proclaim the Miracle That is America

Hanukkah started on Sunday and ends next Monday. It’s the only Jewish holiday which is celebrated publicly. We are told to proclaim the miracle of the pure oil that burned for 8 days instead of one, when the Second Temple was rededicated.

There is another miracle which should be proclaimed publicly, and frequently – America.

I’m reading two books. “Mayflower” by historian Nathaniel Philbrick covers the first 50 years of the Plymouth Colony, from its founding to the end of what was called King Philip’s War. “Rise to Rebellion,” by the great historical novelist Jeff Shaara, is about the beginnings of our struggle for independence.

Remarkably, from the founding of the Plymouth Plantation to the Declaration of Independence was only 156 years. We went from a handful of colonists precariously clinging to the rocky coast of New England (of 102 who landed in 1620, only 57 survived the first winter) to a people who could challenge the world’s dominant political and military power.

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The greatest threat to our nation isn’t porous borders, or Islamic terrorism, or a gargantuan national debt, or crazies with nuclear missiles, but historical amnesia.

American history is Greek to most Millennials. They are the most ignorant and – in consequence – the least religious and the least patriotic generation in our history. God and country both are victims of the Culture War. Only 16 states allow the words “God bless America” to be displayed in their public schools.

We started with an acknowledgement of God in the Mayflower Compact and proceeded to “unalienable rights” bestowed by the Creator in the Declaration of Independence. There followed appeals to Heaven in times of war and tribulation.

When FDR announced the D-Day landings to the nation, his speech took the form of a prayer. When George W. Bush addressed us following 9/11, he ended with “God bless America.”

We’ve gone from God-given rights to fighting to acknowledge God as the source of our rights and blessings.

More than guns and guards, walls and weapons (important as they are) our survival depends on the Power that maintained us from Plymouth to Philadelphia to the present.


The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website,

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