Proud to be an American

This is a departure from how I normally do my blog, but bare with me.  It is, after all, July 4th!

Happy Independence Day to the USA! 

We started off the morning with pancakes and listening to patriotic music on youtube.  My favorite is still Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA“.    Here’s the chorus:

I’m proud to be an American
where at least I know I’m free,
And I won’t forget the men who died
who gave that right to me,
And I gladly stand up next to you
and defend her still today,
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.

I am an American, but I wasn’t born here and spent most of my growing up years in Asia.  This helped greatly to widen my worldview, but I also didn’t understand what it really means to be an American.  The country I grew up in was great and I don’t think everyone should want to be an American.  I hope that each is proud of their own country.

Since I am an American I have endeavored the last few years to understand what that means.  This is taking the form of relearning USA history and learning what are American liberties.   It has also taken the form of understanding why it is tradition to put your hand over your heart during the Nation Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance.  When I was in fourth grade I did live in America and every single day of school one student was called to the principals office to lead the Pledge of Allegiance over the intercom.  I remember my turn!  When did this stop?  Why did this stop?  I want to give a shout out to my friends who own an ice cream shop in Laveen,Arizona.  During the month of July they give a free cone to every kid who comes in and recites the Pledge of Allegiance.  For those who don’t know it or have forgotten:

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all

Increasing I’ve noticed the majority of people do not put their hand over their heart during the Nation Anthem anymore.  Why is that?  I looked up the United States Flag Code.*   This states that all persons (those in uniform have other policies) should “stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart” during the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance.  Why show respect to a flag?  To a piece of material?  It is a symbol of the USA.  No matter my opinion of a current president, or those in government positions, or policies and current USA events I can stand behind the United States of America as a country.  It is still a great place to live.

I love the celebrations of July 4th and how, at least for one day, we are unified.  Tomorrow we can pick up our torches of political differences to push for the United States of America we believe will continue to be great.  Have a fun and safe day!

SONY DSC

*It is code, not law.  Therefore there is no penalty for not following the code.

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