Among my many T-shirts—we Boomers invented the T-shirt, you know!—is one that displays the Celtic Cross, under which are the words Síocháin ‘s Dóchas—”peace and hope,” in the language of my Irish ancestors. With the year 2020 happily coming to its inglorious close, I look forward to the possibility of peace and the opportunity for hope in our exhausted land.
I’m not naive. So much has been lost in recent years. And there is no absolute guarantee that democracy will prevail during the next few weeks. But I have hope, founded on the wisdom and good will of the vast majority of Americans, a majority that includes all sectors of the populace, all ethnic and racial groups, all religious groups, and both major political parties.
It’s been a tough year by anyone’s standards: the coronavirus, which to date has resulted in more American deaths than all the battles of WW II . . . the attendant and massive loss of jobs and businesses, with the worst impact on those who could least afford it . . . horrific natural disasters worldwide, including the hellish destruction and loss of life caused by the West Coast fires and the devastating hurricanes that battered our southern coastal communities . . . America’s flirtation with demagoguery and autocracy and the demoralizing failure of so many (who, to their everlasting shame, should have known better) to confront it . . . a year for the history books, under the heading, America Survives its Worst Year Ever . . .
The year that long overstayed its welcome is finally making its exit.
I shall welcome the new year with a sanguine air. I shall drink a toast—caffè misto being my drink of choice—at break of day on January 1. (I’m too old to stay up until midnight.) I shall greet the new day and year with a prayer for peace and hope for our nation and for the world.
Peace and Hope!
Síocháin ‘s Dóchas!