Take a close look at this image. What’s your immediate reaction? What feelings does it evoke? What image of America does it represent to you?
This is a 2009 photo of the staff and students at the U.S. Navy’s Center for Information Dominance Corry Station. This technical training center is located near Pensacola, Florida. The staff and students are participating in morning colors on Cultural Diversity Day, a time when they learned about cultures around the world.
Just like the poster of Israel Zangwill’s The Melting Pot we examined yesterday, this group photo represents a form of cultural mixing. Ever since 1948, when Harry Truman signed an executive order integrating the armed forces, the U.S. military has made great strikes in racial and ethnic integration, and more recently, the integration of men and women—as you can see in this modern image.
Here are some of the one-word reactions to this image that were evoked in the small-group dialog early this week: youth, patriotism, attention, idealism, naivety. A few veterans were participants in the dialog, and they had a strong patriotic reaction to the image.
Did you have a similar reaction to this image?
Is it a modern-day version of The Melting Pot?
Join us again tomorrow—and all week—as we consider images of America.
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Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an online experiment in civil dialogue.