As we enter into the Thanksgiving season it is appropriate to give thanks for those good things around us: our loved ones, the joys in our lives, the work and play we enjoy, and the happiness in our souls. But it is also a time to reflect on ourselves as a people. I call your attention to two different commentaries, both by the actor Jeff Daniels. In the first he plays the part of Joshua Chamberlain, a central figure in the battle of Gettysburg in the Civil War. Here he speaks to troops who want to return home after their enlistments had expired about why the U.S. was engaged in that conflict.
The second is from the HBO series, “News Room,” and offers a commentary on the current state of the United States as a nation.
One calls on the highest ideals humanity embraces. The other espouses a current conception and what we may do to reclaim our ideals.