“This land is my land; this land is your land. From California, to the New York Island; From the redwood forest, to the Gulf Stream waters; This land was made for you and me.”
These words written by Woody Guthrie I was first introduced to as a child growing up. It was about exploring all the vast land of America. It was about freedom to go and see, experience and learn. There is something about approaching and reaching that half of a century mark in age that causes reflection on the things of childhood and the future.
As our nation celebrates the 4th of July, I am not going to be asking anyone what they think about America. If you listen to talk radio, observe comments, post and links on Facebook, catch the tweets of those you follow, the word is generally not very positive about America. I have no hesitation sharing that I am not sure why folks don’t love America. My only thoughts would be that they have never been out of the country. For anyone who has traveled across the border of the United States of America into a foreign land will understand where I am coming from. Traveling outside of the United States will make you love home quickly.
I love America! I love her and cannot remember a single moment in my life that I wasn’t proud of this land of red, white and blue. There are many people who don’t feel the way I do. I read their remarks and posts on social media and even hear them make statements that I cannot identify with. They are not alone. First Lady Michelle Obama in 2008 said “for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country, because It feels like hope is finally making a comeback.” She made this statement in Wisconsin, then she repeated it again in another speaking engagement. Myself, I’ve been proud of America for a long as I can remember, and I cannot imagine anything that would change my position. There are many politicians, movie stars, and well-known citizens who have made statements about America that I’ve wondered where they were coming from with respect to comments about America. So, you think there are challenges that she is facing? Absolutely. Is America a land where there are no divisions? No. Is our homeland perfect and without corruption? Certainly not. We are however still the land of the free and the brave. We are free because our Constitution gives you the right to agree and disagree. Support and protest. “Brave” is in our motto of slogans because our citizens have been drafted and others have volunteered to serve our nation’s needs, and the cause of freedom, democracy and service to others around the world. I love America and with all the problems that exist, I think we the people are the solution.
There is no debate about to whom the responsibility of our nation resides with. The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States begins with “We the People.” We are responsible for making a more perfect union. We are responsible for establishing justice, creating domestic tranquility, working to provide common defense, general welfare, not to mention our responsibility to secure the blessings of liberty and our posterity. I hear lots of people talking as if they are owed something. As if somehow you should receive things without work, effort or commitment. The Constitution I read says that “WE” are responsible and that “WE” are the holders of our own fate, opportunity and vision. Yes, I know that folks can work against you. I know that people, organizations, institutions and even the government is not always fair. I know and appreciate the fight for equality. Every level of society has fought for equality. The results for our advance as a nation rest clearly on our shoulders as a people.
America is the greatest nation on the earth, even with all her ills. I believe that we the citizens must safeguard and protect her. America is a melting pot of people, ideas, experiences and vision. We the people must be involved if we are to do our duty. Young people must be concerned, and active and elderly citizens must be encouragers to the young for their ideas, thoughts and dreams. I am writing about a pattern of support, responsibility and involvement that is what will keep America strong as we march forward. Until then...