Monday, July 03, 2006

Happy 4th of July! 2006

Happy Birthday U.S.A.! I'm so grateful to be a U.S. citizen with the freedoms and rights that affords me. I appreciate our soldiers and all they do for us. I appreciate their families for the sacrifices they make while their loved ones work and fight and serve our proud nation.

Which reminds me of a discussion taking place on a board I post on. The discussion started being about how there's a proposed law forcing schools to display a flag in EVERY SINGLE classroom. Some were vehemently opposed to it and viewed it as forced patriotism, and extreme patriotism, and some even openly "bashed" Americans for being "too patriotic." If it leads to nationalism, yeah I can understand that. If it leads to believing that all other countries and nations are inferior to your own, that's bordering on being a disorder and is very unhealthy. It's very similar to racism and sometimes goes hand in hand with it. But other than the sheer cost to each state and school for enforcing that type of law doesn't make sense to me. How could they enforce a law like that anyway? And where would the money come from? Too many schools are without text books and writing paper and other learning materials that to be forced to take money from their already pitiful funding seems odd to me. I'm all for displaying our flag proudly, but maybe in a more central location like the auditorium. I grew up with it being pretty normal to have a flag in every classroom, although I can't quite recall if there was a flag in every college classroom.

Anyway, it shocked me how strongly some people feel against any kind of patriotism, as if simply being patriotic and proud to be the nationality that you were born into and live with is somehow wrong. Yes, it's often by chance that our souls end up in the body that houses it, but only so much chance. My family on both sides of the family (IL's as well as my own grandparents/great-grandparents) chose to come to the U.S. because they felt it would offer more opportunities and be, in general, a better life. I have no problem declaring my pride in my country or that I know I'm lucky to live here. I don't pity anyone for living in another country, I don't get bothered when someone else displays/exclaims their patriotism for their own country... so why do some people think it's so wrong for Americans?

Maybe it's because a seeming majority are so angry and pissed off with Dubya lately. As if being patriotic means you're somehow declaring your support of a government you're upset with rather than the nation as a whole. And yes, I'm a supporter of Bush even though I can acknowledge that he's made some bonehead moves. I don't think he's evil or that he's some sort of Anti Christ. And I'll stop there with Bush because I know some of my readers are vehemently opposed to Bush so much so that they see red when his name is even mentioned. I just wanted to make the point that being Pro-American and Patriotic and even Pro-Bush doesn't make someone awful or misguided. Being conservative isn't a horrible sentence. Being Republican isn't an abhorration.

In fact, we should be thankful that in this country we're able to debate issues openly. That we can write to our leaders using our real names instead of anonymously for fear of reprisal. We can publicly say "The President sucks azz" if that's our opinion. We have several political parties to affiliate ourselves with, each of whom have their positive points and their negative points. We have the right to run for office and not be a politician. We can vote, and vote for whom we want to without having to answer for it to anyone, even our spouses. We can have an opinion even if it's against the norm.

So, partly through accident of birth and partly through immigrating ancestry, I'm proud to be an American.

God Bless the U.S.A.
© MCA Music
By Lee Greenwood

If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life,
And I had to start again with just my children and my wife.
I’d thank my lucky stars to be living here today,
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away.
And 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’d 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.
From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee,
across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea,
From Detroit down to Houston and New York to LA,
Well, there’s pride in every American heart,and it’s time to stand and say:
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’d 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.
God Bless The U.S.A. Words and Music by Lee Greenwood

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