To the Editor:
Living and working abroad in a Third World South American nation is no small feat. One must become accustomed to the harsh realities of a society that is desperately struggling to get a head, of individuals that make lifestyles out of taking advantage of each other, and of governments that blatantly ignore the desires of their citizens. Yet on a daily basis, regardless of how difficult my Chilean reality can be, I find comfort in remembering what a remarkable nation I hail from.
One becomes acutely aware of how irreplaceable American values are when they are forced to accept the values of another nation, so much so that sometimes we expatriates even contemplate throwing in the towel and heading back north. Why then, I ask myself, do I fel as if the same reality that I live here in South America is beginning to take hold in my own country, in my own community?
Dire economic conditions may have forced people to struggle to get ahead. They may have even provoked unethical behavior in which individuals are making lifestyles out of taking advantage of each other. But have we gone as far downhill as to accept that our government no longer has any regard for our mutual desires?
As a former resident of the township of Rumson, as the son, nephew and grandson of local entrepreneurs, and as an American who will always consider the Navesink River area as his true home, I am disheartened to learn that my government is seriously contemplating ignoring our communal aspiration for a low bridge. The Oceanic Bridge is an historic symbol of our community an a constant image that I recall when I think of my hometown. It is an aesthetic masterpiece that captures the natural beauty of our surroundings. But above all else, a low bridge is the expressed and re-expressed desire of the citizens of the Navesink River area.
Let us, then, continue to live by the democratic principles that I, and millions of others, hold dear to our hearts as Americans: that our desires are, and will continue to be, our realities.
Schuyler S. Thompson