Rabbi Irwin Wiener, D.D.

In 1945, we celebrated the final end of World War ll. After much bloodshed and sacrifices, we, together with our allies, were finally victorious in a war that still reverberates to this day. The relief that followed also served as a reminder that even in victory there is sadness. The needless waste of resources and humanities disdain for the values of life’s gifts caused us to pause and wonder about our purpose.

During these difficult times, we Americans came together as never before. The blood drives, the collection of fat, the rationing of things we once took for granted, the purchase of savings bonds, the entertaining of the troops, all taught us that when a nation is in need its citizens rise to the occasion. It certainly was a different time.

We have just completed a most exhausting and agonizing election. Things have been said that may never be forgotten, but it is over. There will be plenty of evaluations and explanations, but it is over. What is not over is the fact that we are all Americans with the right to speak our minds. We are Americans enjoying freedoms that few in the world can truly understand.

Now is the time to join together in building an even stronger America; 240 years has taught us that only as one can we truly benefit from the many different opinions and solutions. Only as one can we overcome the vitriol that seems to have settled in our hearts and minds. Together, we succeed, separate, we fail. It really is that simple.

Stand next to a friend or relative and look at your reflection in the mirror. The only resemblance is that each has a nose and two eyes, two ears, a mouth. This is where the similarities end because if we look closer we see two different people. This is the strength of America – similar, but different.

Now is the time to join with one another and know that through the tears, and the dreams, and the growing, we have developed a country that has never been duplicated, nor will it ever be.

1945 may have been a different time, but the messages of those offerings are no different today. As we journey into a new chapter in our history perhaps it is appropriate to also remember that by the Grace of God do we flourish.