Happy Birthday America! Of thee I sing.

I am proud of my country.  Unabashedly so.  No reservations. 

Just think for a minute how much good this one country has done in its comparatively short existence. 

Sure, any of us at any time can find fault in something that our country has done.  But take a take a look around.  The things we openly complain about here or advocate to change can get you imprisoned in many other countries.  Or tortured. Or murdered.

You could do a lot worse, had your birthplace or home ended up in one of those places we see in the news (and I don’t mean just the global hotspots).  For every criticism someone might have about the US, there are dozens of praises from those fortunate enough to have benefited from this country’s charity, support, and protection.

I’ll confess to being a bit of a history nerd, particularly US history.  A family trip last month took me to the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library in Iowa.  What an eye-opener that visit turned into.  I had no idea at all what a great humanitarian President Hoover was or the depth of gratitude he received from nations around the world.  All he usually gets tagged with in our history books, and incorrectly so, is blame for the Great Depression.  His work throughout his lifetime reflect in large part what the US stands for, and should continue to stand for, on the world stage.  

Allright, a long way of saying “Thanks, America, for being there.” 

And here are my top suggestions for honoring all of us Americans in the grand melting pot (let’s drop the hyphenated-American divisiveness, too) this 4th of July weekend.  

  1. Display your US flag. Proudly.
  2. Donate to the Wounded Warriors Project. Our veterans – especially those suffering from grievous injures on our behalf – need your help and a huge thank you besides just one day a year on 11/11.
  3. Watch a movie or read a book or article this weekend about some part of US history.
  4. Tell your children it’s cool to be patriotic and to show it.  Maybe explain to them why this day is also called "Independence Day."
  5. Enjoy a picnic, meal, or other gathering with family and friends and say something nice about our country – regardless of your political bias, ethnicity, economic level, education, or favorite women's soccer team (sorry, I had to throw that last one in).

Happy 4th everyone!  Be safe too.