First and foremost, I love you, America, with all my heart. You have been good to me. Here I met the love of my life. Now for me, it is giving back time to this precious land.

After the war in Germany, just the mention of America brought on thoughts of something wonderful. I immigrated in 1956. America was everything I dreamed of. Not anymore.

To be kind, giving and helpful is what we all should be striving for, not apologizing for what we stand for.

Here, in Idyllwild, our firefighters are my heroes and so are the police.

What would we do without them? There are bad apples in every group. They should be removed. Think about it: Would you, right now, want your husband, brother or boyfriend to be a policeman? I wouldn’t. Here they are protecting us, but are we protecting them?

We have allowed certain people to take away many of our constitutional rights or change them for their own power and greed. We have seen in Baltimore what happened when the police were told “to stand down.” Will we all have to have guns in our homes to protect ourselves from being ransacked, looted or killed?

Let’s start at home and take care of the children. If you want children, then be a parent, and parents have social responsibilities. You are buying them all sorts of gadgets to keep them occupied and quiet. This gives you more time to play with your phone instead of instilling the real values of life and behavior. I am talking about the backbone of a country. If the family is strong, so is the country.

Please look inside yourselves. We can still turn the country around again, and show those agitators and power-hungry no-goods what America and Americans stand for.

We must not let Krushchev’s words of predictions come true. Remember, he banged his shoe on the table and said, “We shall destroy you from within.” Let’s show the world again what Americans are made of.

I am ready — are you? God bless America.

Gisela M. Stearns