America, land that I love. Since I was a small child I've been curious about other countries and through the years I've found a great deal to love and admire about most countries, yet deep inside of me I've thrilled to know that I am an American. What it means to be an American is difficult to put into words because it is a concept only understood by my heart. On this, our nation's birthday, I'll try to express a few of the things my country means to me.
Freedom comes first to my mind. To be able to worship as I choose, to get an education and to continue to learn in any field I choose, to develop my own interests and talents, to work and set my own goals, to live where I choose, and to share my life with the people with whom I most wish to be, are some of the aspects of freedom that matter to me.
I love this land; the mountains, the streams, the fields and meadows, the deserts, the small towns, and the cities. There's a rich diversity of land and land uses across this country and I love the variety. There's a feeling of pride in knowing America is the home of many natural resources such as rich soil, water, timber, coal, oil, most minerals and gems, rain, wind, and sun.
The history of this nation brings a swell of pride for the heroes who sacrificed to make and keep this a free nation. It is a melting pot of immigrants from all over the world who have given much to form a nation where race and old world biases are softened, blended, and done away with to form a new people, Americans.
We have our share of traitors, weaknesses, and attempts to dominate others. Unfortunately that seems to be part of being human. Lately our country has been plagued by divisiveness as many have moved away from the strengths of our constitution and from God. Unless we turn back to those values that made this a choice land, we stand to lose our most valued rights and freedoms.
Over the many years I have celebrated America's birth I've stored a treasure trove of memories. Some of my earliest celebration memories include watching my brothers and taking a turn cranking an ice cream freezer, sparklers whipping through the night sky, church bells, fireworks, picnics with Mama's potato salad, a watermelon snugged into a secure hole in an icy creek, marching in parades, then watching my children march with their school bands, foot races, rodeos, and breakfast on the back deck. And always the stars and stripes have flown proudly at our house, led the parades, and adorned our neighborhoods.
If I were blowing out the candles on America's birthday cake, my wish would be that our nation would continue for many more years to be a Godly nation filled with freedom, respect for one another, peace, and prosperity. Happy Birthday America!