There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America. ~William J. Clinton
I miss the 4th of July: US independence day.
I miss eating hot dogs and potato salad in the stifling July heat.
I miss my brothers and my home.
Of course, US Independence Day is not observed in Mexico and since I moved to this country my 4th of July celebration consists of cooking out on the grill with my tiny family. While the family barbeque is certainly a time honored tradition on the 4th of July, there are many other traditions that forged many of my happiest childhood memories. These are traditions that I would like to pass on to my children, the legacy of our homeland.
As a little girl, I counted the days impatiently. I remember the endless parades; the whole community would turn out to cheer the marching bands and the colorful floats. Then there were the fireworks displays; towns would compete to make their fireworks show more spectacular than any other. At dusk we would drive out to watch the fireworks from the highway. My mother would take a blanket with us so that we could spread it on the hood of the car. They were the best seats in the house.
Dazzling lights and bursts of color would surely be followed by a tremendous boom and on cue my heart would swell as I thanked the heavens for having been born in in freedom; bless my country! Therein lies the higher purpose of the 4th of July; to make Americans leave their homes and come together as a nation. We salute the flag with one hand on our hearts and sing the Star Spangled Banner, our national anthem. “And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air”. Great song, it inspires the deepest patriotism even if it is about a war that took place hundreds of years ago.
Patriotism to me is an attitude of brotherhood; recognizing the value of our common home and committing to defend our way of life. America is not perfect but it’s home, without a doubt. So as my children eat their hotdogs each Independence day we talk about history, culture, our roots. We look back with pride on our rich heritage and we face the future with optimism and dreams of better days ahead for the country that we love.