I am an American.
I think we've all heard that line way too many times as a result of that lame commercial on Channel One all through junior high and high school. I finally feel like I appreciate the sentiment of it, though.
I went and heard Glenn Beck speak as part of all the Freedom Festival festivities. At the beginning of the fireside (hmm, not quite the right word for it, but it'll do), the band played all of the theme songs for the different branches of the military. As each was played, people who had served in that branch stood. The center was completely packed, and there were the people standing who had given so much to our country. I was fighting to hold back tears. That's never happened to me before! I've never gotten emotional about anything military, but there I was rapidly blinking, being fully overwhelmed by gratitude for their service. How lucky we are that we don't have to physically be on the battlefield fighting for our freedoms. How grateful we should be to those that are.
I think though, that we do have a responsibility to fight for our freedoms back at home. I think that it is our job to ensure that the constitution doesn't get twisted into whatever people in power think it should mean. I think it is our job to fight for the values that we hold most dear-families, faith, virtue, hard work, service, love of God and of man, etc etc. We can't just sit by and let this country turn into a politically correct, socialist society. Get out and vote guys! Do your homework, research the candidates, figure out what positions they have on issues. Don't let the left-wing media feed you an opinion. We cannot afford to become politically apathetic, something of which I have definitely been guilty...but no longer :)
I can't believe it took me nineteen years to come to this, but I love America. Of course, I've always "loved" my country, I think everyone does (except for liberals who hate America and everything for which it stands, but that is another topic for another day), but I finally realized today that I love America in a very concrete and real way. I love this country. It is my home. I love the western mountains, the east coast trees, the southern rivers, the west coast beaches, the midwest corn fields, I love it all (don't peg me for an environmentalist though). I love the good people here who are trying their best to make this a better place. For all of my complaints about liberals, taxes, and the government in general, I'm not immigrating to Canada anytime soon. This is home. "I pledge my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor." I want to spend the rest of my life serving my God and my country in whatever capacity I can. I am so very proud to be an American!
(ah, so cheesy, but at least I'm sincere.)
Happy Fourth of July, guys. For once I'm going to try to remember why we celebrate in the first place.
God bless America, my home, sweet home.