I was all set to write a follow-up post to Tuesday’s entry entitled “Why I (Usually) Don’t Say the Pledge of Allegiance.” And I still may yet. But I don’t want to completely be Captain Wet Blanket on America’s birthday (fun fact: John Adams wanted it to be July 2 because that’s when the Declaration of Independence was unanimously approved) because I am sincerely thankful that I was born and raised here in the United States.
This country is not perfect by any stretch, but I wanted to share a few things that I like about my homeland:
I am thankful for our various freedoms. I am thankful that I and my fellow citizens have the freedom to worship as we need. I am thankful that we have the freedom of expression. I can write this blog and say pretty much whatever is on my mind. I’m glad that right is afforded to everyone, even when I don’t like what others have to say.
I am thankful for the freedom of the press. I am thankful for due process. I am thankful that over the last two hundred plus years, we have consistently had changes in political leadership without coups and violent revolutions (with one unfortunate exception).
I like baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie. I’m a fan of Abraham Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s beard, and Abraham Lincoln’s stovepipe hat. I love that we typically have the most kick-butt Olympic teams (though I probably wouldn’t if I knew all that went into making that happen). Though not a Tea Partier, I’m a fan of tri-corner hats. I like that Superman is our national superhero. I’m glad that you can argue against me for saying that even though you’re dead wrong.
I love the diversity of this country represented by its people. I love that this is a nation of immigrants and that cultures from around the world are represented. I love how we have such a varied geography: beaches, the green mountains of the east, the craggy peaks of the west, the Midwestern plains, deserts, forests. I think the Grand Canyon is just about the most amazing natural wonder ever. I love our parks. There is much that I love about the very different major cities that I have visited: New York, Chicago, San Diego, Washington.
I like the bald eagle as the national bird though I’m intrigued by what would have happened if Ben Franklin got his way. I like our weird little relationship with Canada. I like fireworks on the 4th (not the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, people that live near me) when played alongside “Stars and Stripes Forever” or “The 1812 Overture.” I love cooking out.
I like so many of the luminaries that dot our history, the women and men that have sacrificed and worked on behalf of the less fortunate, and the voices that have called out over time for this country to move in a better direction. I love that so many won’t let injustice be the last word.
The United States presently has many issues. It always has. However for these reasons above and many more, I am thankful to celebrate this country’s birthday. And the biggest reasons, I’m thankful? This is home.