Proud to be an American!

Happy Independence Day!  It isn't just a number, it is the day that America truly changed.  It is a chance for each of us to reflect on and celebrate our great country and the founding fathers so long ago, that had a vision and dream.  The courage and fortitude to see that dream come true.  Most of them knew they would never see the fruition of their efforts or labors.  And still they were strong enough in their convictions to see it through.

I for one am thankful that they did.  I worry greatly about our country now, I am afraid that we are going down a path that will take us far from their vision.  Away from the plan that has served us so well for so very long.  We have the longest running democracy, we are a free people, we have a voice and a choice.  That is so empowering. 

I have lived in countries that would love to have the freedoms and liberties that we as American's often take for granted.  If we don't like something, we still have the freedom and liberty to say something, to act on it, or to simply make our friends mad.  But we have that freedom.  Just because I don't believe our welfare system is a good thing, doesn't mean I will go to jail for saying it. 

If I don't like the leader of our country, it's okay, I don't have to.  I can dislike, disagree and deny them.  And it's okay.  As long as I, as a member of the United States of America, take the time to vote intelligently, then I can do all of that in good conscious. Each American, in good standing, can do that.

I believe America has the ability to make a difference, just the same as those forefather's did.  We will not all agree, we will not all see things the same.  But as long as we continue to have an ongoing conversation, as long as we all work to achieve the goals laid out in our Constitution, America will survive. 

My fears come from the fact that too many American's in this day and age, do not take the time to be informed, responsible, or knowledgeable before they cast their ballot.

I fear we have come to an impasse, I worry deeply, that the America I love is disappearing.  Will my beautiful grand baby know the power of standing with fellow American's watching the fireworks and hearing a strained version of "God Bless the USA"?  Will she get goose bumps, because she knows the sacrifices and blood shed that has guaranteed her freedom?

I have stood on many military bases around the world, surrounded by the very people charged with protecting those freedoms we celebrate today.  I have felt that powerful feeling.  I cherish that feeling.  It isn't about the fireworks - although I do love them.  It is the ability to celebrate who we are. The power of being a free people.  The immense pride in our country and the joy of being an American.

Sadly, there will be no fireworks displays on American military bases this year due to budget cuts... This makes me so mad!  Maybe the leaders should cut their budgets instead.  I don't believe it is budget related at all, I believe strongly that it is moral related.

I am proud of being an American.  I am proud of all that have served this country.  I am thankful for our fore fathers, who had the insight to write such an amazing document as our Constitution. They put time and thought into writing that beautiful document that protects us all.  It has the ability to protect you regardless of which "party" you cling to, it doesn't care about your race, sex, or religion.  You can claim to be a conservative, progressive, libertarian or even a socialist and it will protect your rights to believe what you believe. 

People will censor you when your beliefs don't match theirs.  For example I noticed that yesterday on Facebook.  Someone posted a quote from someone I actually don't like. I as an American have the right to simply ignore that (and I did), what caught my eye, was that someone disagreed with them.  Instead of leaving that testament to our freedom of speech, the young person chose to delete the disagreeing comment.  Not having faith enough in their convictions to leave the dissenting comment to further discussion.  The deletion was simply a censorship, as all comments that agreed with their stance were left to stand.  I am glad that our fore fathers had far more foresight, aren't you?

Happy Independence Day!  I hope that amidst all of the picnics, bar-b-ques and parties that we hold to celebrate this wonderful day, that each person will reflect on what it truly means.  Celebrate those freedoms, liberties, rights and pray (regardless of how or who you pray to) for our wonderful country.  That it will survive all the struggles it faces. 

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