Sixty years ago this summer, on August 7, 1961, President John Kennedy signed the bill creating The Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts. It consists of forty miles of immaculate sandy beach, marshes, ponds, and upland along the Atlantic Ocean, with some portions stretching across the land to Cape Cod Bay in the west. Henry Thoreau walked this wild Outer Atlantic Beach in 1849. He said you can stand there and look out to sea and “put all America behind” you. I am trying to do that as I stand looking at the waves breaking on a foggy early morning shore. I am alone except for the hundreds of seals moaning on a sand bar and the gulls fishing in the tidal inlet at the far southern end of Coast Guard Light Beach. A few laughing gulls swoop by as if to mock me with their laugh-like calls. It is very hard to put the United States of America behind you when the fog of an endless propaganda war warps your mind and tries to crush your spirit even when you look away as far as the eye can see.
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