An open letter to my children: I’m sorry for mess we’ve left

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I’m sorry.

I wish there was some way I could change it, but the truth is my generation has largely destroyed your inheritance. We were given an awesome gift from God to have been born in the greatest nation the world has ever seen, and we are turning over to you damaged goods, maybe beyond repair.

I’m not sure how it got this way. I think it must have been in very small increments until recently. You know there has been a great uproar of late, but we were largely silent until now. I think that’s what happens when we get too caught up in our own lives and we quit paying enough attention to what’s going on outside our own little world.

We inherited a country that was proud of its role as the defender of freedom, and we turn over to you a country that apologizes for having delivered on that role.

We inherited a country that was great because we understood that freedom meant equal opportunity and personal responsibility for our successes and failure, and we turn over to you a country that thinks everyone should be guaranteed success and whines about any perceived inequality in results.

We inherited a country that sacrificed greatly for freedom against the worst of tyrants, from Hitler to Stalin to Mao to Saddam Hussein. We turn over to you a country that wants to have a group hug and sing “We Are The World.”

We inherited a country where we were proud to say we were one nation under God. We turn over to you a country where you have to be careful when and where you mention His name.

We inherited a country where kids would get their butts whipped for being rude to the teacher. We turn over to you a country where classrooms are out of control because teachers are concerned about being fired and sued in court for violating a student’s “rights.”

We inherited a country where you could park your bike outside the school without a lock. We turn over to you a country where it is often dangerous to walk outside after dark.

We inherited a country that understood President Kennedy when he exhorted Americans to ask what we could do for our country, not what our country could do for us. We turn over to you a country where we look to Washington for our income, our housing, our food and our healthcare.

We inherited a country where it was somewhat shocking for children to be born out of wedlock. We turn over to you a country where it is not only celebrated but encouraged.

We inherited a country where we could look to “the greatest generation” as inspiration for what it meant to be a great American. We turn over to you a country where that same generation has an advocacy group that screams bloody murder if you ask them to give up a nickel of the benefits they are now “entitled to.”

We inherited a nation that was financially strong and drove the world’s economy. We turn over to you a country that is in debt beyond its ability to pay, and is committed to much more of the same, largely as a result of the programs that same greatest generation is “entitled to.”

We inherited a country that was a beacon of hope to the world, and we turn over to you a country that wants to be Brazil.

I’m certainly not saying we have ever been perfect as a country. We have always had our warts, but ideally we always stood for something great. Now our goal seems to be achieving mediocrity and standing for nothing.

It would be easy to blame the politicians in Washington, but the truth is we put them there. I don’t know if you will have the wisdom and strength of will to undo all the damage we have done, but I will pray for you that you will be able to do so.

But I am afraid this mess we are turning over to you will not be humanly possible to fix, so I will pray for divine intervention. But with us turning over to you a country that has turned our backs on Him, I am afraid He won’t be listening.

I’m sorry. I really am.

Pepper Adams

Peachtree City, Ga.