I want to wish you all a safe and happy 4th of July. I want to thank all those who serve and have served to keep this country safe. There have been many sacrifices made for this country. Many have given their lives so that we may be free.
The United States of America is a great country! I am proud to be an American. My love for this country does not blind me from the fact that it isn't perfect. I know it is isn't, but to me it is still the best country in the world. The USA is my home. It is the land that I love.
I remember how my flawed thinking adolescent self would find fault with the land of the free. And, how my young adult self, busy with family and career was cynical and apathetic about the goings on here. Then, as a mature adult, I realized how very blessed I was to live here. I realized how privileged I was simply from living here.
I am forever grateful to a father who always saw the good in this country. He was proud to have served in the Army. He was very proud of his honorable discharge and later in life joined The American Legion to stay connected with those that had served in WWII. I am thankful that his pride in being American eventually rubbed off on me.
The United States of America offers us the opportunity to pursue our dreams. Stories abound of people who went from rags to riches here. Through hard work and sacrifice they were able to overcome adversity and become successful. For those who would argue that this is not the land of opportunity let me drop a few names, Oprah Winfrey, Robert Schultz, Sam Walton, Steve Jobs, and D. Gary Young, to name a few. These are just a few of those who are known to us. There are countless others. Just as I'm sure that there are others who don't enjoy celebrity status, but have a tremendous story.
It all starts with the word we, as in, "We the people." The Preamble to the Constitution begins with these words. The Preamble introduces the Constitution and sets off its principals. "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Powerful words! I especially love "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." The writers looked to what would follow them. They thought of the future. They thought of us. The Constitution is what makes this nation great. We get to enjoy the blessings!
And so, on July 4th we celebrate the many blessings that this nation offers. Some of us do so by attending parades in small towns or large cities, by having picnics and barbecues with family and friends, and watching beautiful fireworks live or on TV. Some Americans are far from families and friends as they serve in the Armed Forces here and abroad. They do so to safeguard our freedom. Some may be Ex-Pats who are overseas remembering their place of birth.
However, you choose to celebrate the 4th I wish you a happy and safe one!