LOUISE: Proud to be an American

American FlagJuly brings such a pride for America to my heart. It’s the yearly celebration of our freedom and those who fought for it. And unless you are an alien in this country with a strong desire to return to your native homeland, I don’t know how you cannot be proud of America. Sure, there are things that need reform. There are issues of dissension. There are people in government offices that should not be there. There are problems with healthcare, leaders and a multitude of other things. But for all of the things that are wrong with our government, our people, our land, there are a thousand things that are right.

We enjoy freedoms in America that no other country on this earth can claim. We have the right to disagree and speak out on any issue, whether personal or political. We have the freedom to worship as we please. We have no national church or religion. And though I am thankful that America has always been a Christian nation, you actually have the freedom not to worship the God that the majority of us call Father and Lord. You are free to believe or not believe.

We also have the freedom to vote and assemble, meaning we can meet together with others who share our political beliefs without fear of retaliation. We can live wherever we choose. Send our children to public or private schools. We have so many freedoms that we often forget how free we are because most of us have known no other life-style. We take it for granted. We are “entitled” and don’t even know it.

But our freedoms came with a heavy price and that is something we should never forget. As far back as our country goes, a young country compared to the rest of the world, our fighting forces have paid for those freedoms with their lives. They fought for the freedom to exist as a democracy without another country or government ruling us. They fought for personal freedoms so that no person could be enslaved to another. Political freedoms so that we could govern our own with a solid constitution. They fought for other countries’ freedoms when tyrannical forces marched over their land and threatened our own independence.

Our Armed Forces have also fought unpopular wars. Times when the country failed to honor our servicemen and women. Times when they were spat on and called wretched names because they answered the “draft” rather than evading it. Our military forces have been deployed to places that don’t even want them there. Places where the very people they were protecting often became their enemy. Some died and others came home with missing limbs as well as hearts and souls disturbed from the horrors they witnessed. There is nothing good in war except victory and every victory is about freedom. It’s about preventing oppression of God-given rights for any country or nation.

I am so proud of my country. I am proud to have the red, white and blue, the stars and stripes, the flag of America hanging outside my door. I am proud that my late husband served in the U.S. Army. I am proud of everyone who served in any military branch at any time in our history. I am proud of every person who supported them on the home front. I am proud that my sons respect their legacy and salute the flag with honor. I am proud of every person who looks inside their heart and does what is right for our country and our people.

I am proud to be an American!

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