Friday, July 8, 2011

Proud To Be An American

What a great day to be an American! The 4th of July holds a special place in the hearts of patriots and brings forth a sense of community and solidarity in people. Having lived in other countries I can say with sincerity that I truly am glad to be an American. I’m not saying anything against other countries or putting them down, not at all. I lived very formative years overseas and have a great fondness and respect for other peoples and cultures. Every place on earth has much to offer and is unique in its own way. And yet, there us something different about the good ‘ole U.S of A. We are a special nation, we stand out in a variety of ways.

I spent Independence Day up at my parents cabin with family. They own a place in a small community just south of Flagstaff, it’s a marvelous getaway for us all! The town holds a parade on the 4th that anyone can take part in. On Monday my boys rode their decorated bikes in the parade for the second time. It’s a wonderfully festive time, full of fun and laughter, good spirits, camaraderie, and a general sense of well being. After the parade we enjoyed a long-lived American traditional meal, grilled hamburgers with all the trimmings and sides! Yum! My mom, a model hostess, had the table decorated with all sorts of red, white and blue cheer.

When our bellies were full and we sat back to enjoy our mountainous surroundings, my mom asked us to share one reason we were thankful to be an American, something we were proud of our country for. Here are a few of the answers given: “Because even though it’s cliché, we really are the land of opportunity. People still seek our shores to take a shot at their dream.” “Because we are a giving, generous country, eager to help others, whether it be our neighbors or someone in a foreign land.” “Because we are free to express ourselves, we can dare to be different or unique, we can question and seek for further, deeper meanings and answers, we can push the limits and break free from the mold, we can dream.” “Because we are a safe nation of refuge for those persecuted.” “Because our founding fathers made the effort to create an unparalleled constitution which is the basis of our greatness.” “Because we respect and honor every generation and both genders.”

My boys, 7 and 5, even joined in with their thoughts. My oldest said he likes his country because here you can pick as many flavors of ice cream you want and can mix them if you wish. He said he learned in school about a boy in a foreign country that was not allowed to mix his flavors of ice cream, there they were only able to choose one flavor. My other son stated he likes his country because he can swim in the pool. These may be considered small potatoes to some, but when compared to many parts of the world, they are indeed luxuries, and I’m proud of my boys for their gratefulness. I’m also thrilled they live in a land where ice cream and swimming pools are a part of their everyday life, as opposed to pain, suffering, lack or violence.

I know our country is not perfect, I know we have plenty of areas to improve in, I know we make mistakes, but overall we do a good job at providing for our citizens. I am proud to be an American. Are you? Why?

1 comment:

  1. It was a great 4th of July and happy we were able to enjoy it together. We, as American citizens, have much to be grateful for. Thank you for reminding us of that truth.