I love my life abroad. Living and working in England has been a dream come true. And I will be sad to see it end in a few months but I realized (again) this week how much I love my country, too. And how proud I am to be an American.
Freedom. Liberty. Equality. Justice. America.
Coming home to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day on the 4th of July with friends and family has been a civics lesson. Once again I am reminded that life is a never-ending classroom (if you pay attention). Here we are in the middle of an election year. Temperatures and tempers are rising. Public discourse is at times very discourteous, if not downright ugly and the mud-slinging has begun (does it ever stop?). Politicians and political action committees are vying for your money and your vote. And yet we set aside our differences and come together as a nation to celebrate our independence. America.
Freedom of speech, freedom of and from religion, the right to peacefully assemble, and the right to petition government to redress grievances (in effect to amend laws deemed unfair). The First Amendment to our Constitution. Simple. Honest. Powerful. America.
So after a fun-filled day on the Fourth, playing in the pool and grilling hot dogs and enjoying a few cold beers with neighbors and watching the grandkids play with sparklers, I took a moment to contemplate the significance of our Independence Day and what it means to be an American.
For me it’s pretty simple: I’m a flag-waving, patriotic softy who gets misty-eyed hearing the “Star Spangled Banner”. I am humbled when I see people in uniform quietly serving our country and defending our freedom. We are a big, messy, diverse, collection of individuals that has somehow made this experiment called Democracy work.
And it’s the land that I love. America.