I’m prone to a ton of introspection, but I don’t usually spill it out all over the interwebs when I do. But I feel like what the heck, it’s a holiday, here we go.
I consider myself a fiercely patriotic person. Although I wasn’t technically born in the country because my dad was in the Air Force and stationed in Germany when I was born, it’s a matter of technicality that I was born on a US Air Force base near Zweibrücken. Now, with a father in the Air Force, you can imagine there’s a lot of military pride in my family as well. Add to that the fact that I grew up in an area of Virginia close to Jamestown and Yorktown and Williamsburg, the rooted trifecta of good old US of A gumption, and… well, you can imagine how much I know about glass blowing AND the struggle to survive and thrive.
Sure, the United States has some problems. We’re a bit egotistical and focused on the US as the center of the world. We sometimes forget Canada isn’t a state, but rather a whole other country full of neat stuff all it’s own. And we’re a bit insensitive to the UK about celebrating the glorious day our founding fathers put pen to paper and lost them a giant cash cow of a colony. And our news channels are often more focused on piddly local stories instead of revolutions in other countries (WTF, CNN? Ever heard of Egypt? Sheesh.).
F’ yeah, MURICA!
So yes, I love my country despite its faults. I cry during the national anthem. Every. Single. Time. No matter whether it’s played before my kid’s school play, at a baseball game, or during a glorious display of pyrotechnics. I also cry any time Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to be an American” is played, which is usually when I’m surrounded by hairy rednecks in tank tops watching a laser show on the side of Stone Mountain. Granted, I also cry at the end of the movie Con Air, but I like to think perhaps they are tears of joy at not having to hear Nicolas Cage’s bad Southern accent anymore.
One of the great things about my country is that we have freedom of expression. That doesn’t mean we have freedom from consequences, or freedom from having our feelings hurt.
In the US, we have a perfect right to say whatever we want. Likewise, I have a right think you’re an idiot for your views.
We have the freedom to make ourselves look as dumb as we possibly can. We frequently exercise that right, as the rest of the world loves to tell us. I’d say you’re whispering it behind our backs, but let’s be honest, we’re a bit self-involved so you’re probably saying it in front of us and we just don’t notice.
All of that is to say that, hey, I’m proud of my country. I’m glad I live here. I support the men and women that keep me and my family safe. And I just want to thank my own (founding) father for instilling that in me.