Its hard for an old history teacher to watch the D-Day anniversary recognition without shedding a few tears. Remembering today what those men did reminded me of who we once were as a nation, worthy of being the leader of the free world.

Apparently, it was so inspirational that our oft-challenged President got through the morning without embarrassing the nation and actually acquitted himself appropriately for about four hours before reverting to normal. But listening to FDR and Eisenhower and Churchill and to the veterans telling their stories left me with a sense of honor and pride in what we were.

I do truly believe that we have the capacity to be that great again, but we would have to identify leaders with capabilities, ideals, commitments beyond those we currently have. I think is so troubling that in the last several years the three times I have felt best about my country and proudest of my country have been today honoring those who made D-day happen, and the funerals of John McCain and George H. W. Bush.

Growing up, I was so proud of our achievements in space in the 60s and 70s, and in our progress in civil rights rights. I hope to live long enough to again feel pride in something that my country does now. Finding honor only in the past is no way to run a country.

Photo credit: D-Day from the boat. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.