Four Reasons Why I’m Proud to Be an American

Photo courtesy

At first glance, you might not think I’m a patriotic type person.  I tend to lean toward the more liberal points of views on things like civil rights, gay marriage, and social programs.  While I live in the west, I’m not “country.”  When I grew up, I was a rebel looking for a cause.

But patriotism runs deep in my family, and has a pretty good hold in me, as well.  My maternal grandfather and great-uncle were decorated pilots in the Korean War and World War II, respectively.  My paternal great-grandparents immigrated from Italy, and most of their male children served in some war or another for the United States. The female children (including my grandmother) were part of the woman’s military auxillary groups.

My father served in the Army, and the country school I attended taught me to respect our flag.  I know how to fold one up into a nice triangle, and to never let the edges droop onto the ground.

Growing up I was indoctrinated with a healthy respect for our servicemen and women and our country.  It grieves me to hear American’s talk smack about the United States.  I have to wonder if they have ever been outside of our borders.

We have poverty here, but some of our poor people would be considered pretty well off in many countries.  When I visited Peru, I learned that in Cusco there are entire neighborhoods without running water.  This isn’t a situational problem, it’s a chronic problem.  They don’t have plumbing that runs into the hills where the poor people live.  In other countries, families live in the trash dumps.  And let’s not even get started talking about the violent and abysmal living conditions in some African countries.

We are able to choose our own careers.  We don’t have someone dictate to us based on test scores what career field we should study.  I was shocked when I learned from a German friend that he wanted to study to be a brewer, but he didn’t score high enough on the tests, so he was directed into a different food-oriented career path.  We are still the land of opportunity.  We can have our dreams and strive to reach them, too.

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In the United States we have a hugely diverse environment.  Travel a couple of hours in any direction and the surroundings are completely different.  There is so much to see, all within our borders.  One year I traveled from Wyoming to Astoria, Oregon.  Over two days I saw soft-brown prairies, verdant grasslands, dormant volcanoes, gigantic redwoods, and sandy beaches.

But most of all, I’m proud to be an American because of the people.  Yes, there are the hateful, aggressive political people who annoy me greatly (and I mean people on both sides of the political fence), but I believe overall the people of the United States are concerned and compassionate, sturdy and hard-working.

Our history is full of persevering, focused figures.  Without the ability to dream, persevere, and achieve the goals set before them, the United States would not be  what it is today.

I am proud to be an American.  I know things here aren’t perfect, but since I’ve always been a glass-half-full kind of person, I’ll focus on the positives, while we continue to work out the negatives.

Have a happy Fourth of July, and I send out a special “Thank You” to all our servicemen and women, past and present.

What else makes the United States a great place to live?


17 responses to “Four Reasons Why I’m Proud to Be an American

  1. Hi Lara, Happy Fourth of July! It’s a good day to think of the many ways that we are blessed because we live in America. Don’t pay attention to anyone who says you’re not patriotic.

  2. Happy Fourth of July! I feel blessed as well. And I feel fortunate that if I don’t like something, I can freely write to my representatives!

  3. Happy Fourth of July, neighbours!

  4. Hey Lara,

    LOVE your post (it sounds a little like mine :)~
    And, I agree wholeheartedly…. nine years ago I chose to become an American – and it was the best decision I ever made 🙂

    Thanks for sharing – Happy Fourth of July to you and yours 🙂

  5. Thanks, Mark! And I personally think you totally fit into the kind, compassionate and focused people of the US. We are so much the better for having you as a citizen! Happy Fourth to you and yours, as well!

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  7. Loved this post, Lara! I love the diversity of lifestyles, backgrounds and ideas here in our country. There is so much to learn and share within our cities and communities. Working in a college environment, I meet people from all over the world, and I only commute 5 miles from my home : ).

    • Thanks, Pam! I agree wholeheartedly. Colleges/Universities are great places to experience diversity. I had a wonderful time when I was in highschool when I participated in the International Clubs celebration. I was one of the performers for their talent show (of different dance styles) and they were all so warm and friendly. It was truly one of the best experiences I had in highschool.

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  10. I do feel blessed to live in America. I love that we have the freedoms we do. And I love that we have the diversity too, of people and of land.

  11. Love this, Lara! I agree, the people in this country are part of what makes it great. The diverse cultures we celebrate here teach us so much. The freedom we enjoy is like nowhere else on earth and, no matter what issues we have here, I couldn’t live anywhere else!

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