As I approach the September of my years, I find my dominant emotion to be one of sadness and depression for the country I love.
These feelings are the result of the deep divisions in our country probably not seen since the 1850s and 1960s.
I remember vividly sitting on the subway on the way to Temple University the morning after Martin Luther King was assassinated and having similar feelings to today. I guess the difference is that in 1968 I had my whole life ahead of me, and this made that tragedy easier to wrap my head around.
As a young man, I was involved in so many wonderful experiences as a student and teacher. I had the opportunity to perform music throughout the world and see the goodwill it brought to so many people I never knew.
Over my lifetime, I have also experienced great positive changes in my country.
I mourn the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg because she represented to me the journey of my own life. She believed, as I do, in the institutions of our government. I was born into many of the prejudices of the past, yet somehow I was able to grow into being more accepting of new ideas, different lifestyles, and the belief that, for a nation to survive, it too must be able to grow.
For these gifts, I thank Justice Ginsburg for her leadership. For great nations to survive and thrive, they must be able to grow with the times and adapt to the change. The atrophy of beliefs present in our country today will doom us to a future of repression and hate.
My deepest sympathy and condolences go to Justice Ginsburg’s family and to all who believed in this amazing woman.