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Most families have secrets.

So do towns.

But, hiding history isn’t a very wise idea.

How do we learn from our mistakes if we bury them in the closet and pretend they never happened, or ignore them all together?

Grover Cleveland had surgery while the President.  In 1893, he had a large cancerous portion of his jaw removed.  The secret wasn’t revealed to the public until 1917;  he’d been dead for nine years.

Now, Cleveland’s surgery was successful, it didn’t compromise national security, and there was truly no shame in it.  But, cancer then was a word that was whispered, rarely discussed, and viewed by most as a death sentence.

JFK had horrid back problems, most people didn’t know about it until long after he was dead.

FDR was crippled, in a wheel chair, and stood with excruciating pain.  But, stand he did, simply to avoid looking weak, deficient, and un-Presidential.

We’re all like that.

Oh, sure, there are a few who flaunt their miseries and physical ailments garnering sympathy, but most of us go day to day dismissing the headaches, the pains, the gripes and groans that make us the humans we are.

It does no good.

It doesn’t work with nations either.

We’re not perfect.  Our nation’s past and present is full of embarrassing scars and illnesses that are hidden from the world and hidden from us.

Agreed, it’s not so easily accomplished in the 21st Century technical world we have; but hid they do, all they can.

Why?

We’re big boys and girls, we can take it.

There may be shame in things we’ve done, but there’s no shame in admitting it, righting it, and moving on never to repeat it.

But, reveal it we don’t, and repeat it we do.

We should learn from our mistakes, not repeat them.

 

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