When riots were unthinkable?
When you left your front doors open?
When socialism was a dirty word?
When ghettos were neighborhoods?
When the flag was a sacred symbol?
When criminals actually went to jail?
When you weren't afraid to go out at night?
When taxes were only a necessary nuisance?
When a boy was a boy and dressed like one?
When the poor were too proud to take charity?
When the clergy actually talked about religion?
When clerks and repairmen actually tried to please you?
When college kids swallowed goldfish, not acid?
When songs had tune, and words made sense?
When young fellows tried to join the Army or Navy?
When people knew what the fourth of July stood for?
When you never dreamed our country could ever lose?
When a Sunday drive was a pleasant trip, not an ordeal?
When you bragged about your hometown and home state?
When everybody didn't feel entitled to a college education?
When people expected less and valued what they had more?
When politicians proclaimed their patriotism, and meant it?
When everybody knew the difference between right and wrong?
When things weren't perfect –
but you never expected them to be?
When our Government stood up for Americans, anywhere in the world?
When you knew that the law would be enforced and your safety protected?
When you considered yourself lucky to have a good job, and proud of it?
When the law meant justice, and you felt a shiver of awe at the sight of a policeman?
When you weren't embarrassed to say that this is the best country in the world?
When America was a land filled with brave, proud, confident, hardworking people?