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~ Our Take ~

The Blog: Our Take is about immigration, sexual assault, war, and other topics that have been historically important and continue to be relevant today.

The Peace Corps at 60: An Awkward Celebration

The Peace Corps at 60: An Awkward Celebration

It’s a milestone birthday week for the Peace Corps: The big Six-Zero! Sixty years since September 22, 1961, when JFK signed the legislation creating the Peace Corps. Sixty years of memorable events: the first 51 Volunteers arrived in Ghana in the fall of 1961; the...

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The Powerful Message Delivered on a Common Field

The Powerful Message Delivered on a Common Field

Some gifts are too special to be used—or, in this case, to be worn. My commemorative Shanksville t-shirt is one of those. It was a gift from Bud Sigg (the father of my friend Jack), who sent it as a memento of Pennsylvania’s place in the history of the 9-11 attacks....

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August 28: The Day MLK Called to Me

August 28: The Day MLK Called to Me

You know how some dates remain in your mind forever—the place, the time, the “feel” of an incident? Today marks one of those days—not only for all of us as a nation, but for me personally: It’s August 28, 1963, Wednesday, late afternoon: I’m driving Red Mountain Pass...

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Memories of World War Two: My Dad on Guam

Memories of World War Two: My Dad on Guam

Photo: Military supplies on Guam awaiting sorting and shipment, 1944. Photo from souvenir booklet in the Garretson family archives. We like to play a mental game we call “Where was I when . . .” Last week the game took us back to August of 1945 when our fathers were...

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A Shout-Out To Sir Jacob Vouza, An American Hero

A Shout-Out To Sir Jacob Vouza, An American Hero

Yesterday—August 7—marked one of those significant events in American history that slip by without notice: no celebrations, no fireworks, no memorials. Let’s at least give it a shout out: Here’s the context: World War II—After Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941), the...

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The Tragic Path into the Vietnam War

The Tragic Path into the Vietnam War

When we were kids, we thought George Washington’s simple statement, “I cannot tell a lie” was the founding mantra for our nation’s leaders. Our leaders did not—and would not—tell lies. For us, that myth was shattered in May 1960—my senior year of high school—when the...

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National holidays? We love them.

National holidays? We love them.

Photo: The Malecón, Havana’s seaside promenade: Note especially an ocean wave that has just crashed into the seawall, flinging its spume high into the sunset. Tomorrow is a memorable one: 26 de Julio—National Revolution Day . . ....

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The Day for a Country to Celebrate

The Day for a Country to Celebrate

Photo: Celebrating at the Independence Parade July 7th—Happy Independence Day! What, you say? We missed the day by 72 hours? NOT! July 7 is the day Solomon Islanders celebrate their own Independence from Great Britain—303 years after the U.S. declared our independence...

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