Lady Lex: A brief reminder of how great America is

Earlier this month, the research vessel (R.V.) Petrel of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen located and filmed the wreckage of the American aircraft carrier USS Lexington, also affectionately known as Lady Lex.

This is both a historic and a technical event.  Lady Lex was sunk in the Battle of the Coral Sea on May 8, 1942, a dark time in WWII, nearly a month before the tide-turning Battle of Midway.  The Lady went down about 500 miles off the northeastern coast of Australia and took over 200 U.S. sailors with her.  She rests about two miles deep in the ocean.  The tears have long dried for those lost, but this locating of the wreckage gives us the opportunity to again remember the service and sacrifice of those men.   

There is no need to rehash the Battle of the Coral Sea; there are multiple sources for that.  What should be noted is that this achievement of Paul Allen shows what is possible when the technical prowess of America is coupled with free-market initiative.  Finding Lady Lex is an example of both.  But it pales in significance to things like the fracking oil and gas revolution and the emergence of private space launching companies like Elon Musk's SpaceX, which is planning to send a space vehicle to Mars by 2020.

No other country in the world could pull off a hat trick like this.  Because we here are living in the States, we tend to discount our strength.  Like a fish that doesn't feel the wetness of the water, Americans take for granted what our country is capable of.  Too often we overly focus on our warts and imperfections (which are real).

Certainly, the media and the intellectuals who exist in their tenured ivory towers encourage negative thinking regarding America.  They cynically measure the U.S. against the yardstick of perfection and snottily issue their condemnations.  They make the perfect the enemy of the good.  Don't believe them.  America is great.

This was one of the basic themes that Donald Trump rode to the White House on.  And the president's agenda to make America even greater is one of the reasons he's so hated by much of the upper crust.  These people, like Barack Obama, their messiah, seem to value their so-called world citizenship over their U.S. one.  To them, patriotism is an embarrassment.  To that, one can say only this: USA!  USA!  USA!

Image: Joi Ito via Flickr.