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America is My Country: Reflecting on the American Way (An Opinion Piece)
I'm thankful every day of my life. However, during the months of November, usually beginning with the traditional American Thanksgiving holiday, through the entire month of December, not just Christmas, and bringing in the New Year … I take some time during the day to reflect and consider what I am thankful for.
One of the blessings that is always on my list is: I'm thankful to be living in America.
My late husband told me to change that statement. He said I should say I'm thankful to be LIVING and AMERICAN.
I know that American citizens of color, especially black people or African-Americans, would say that the words in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America are not being implemented.
I know many of my fellow Americans try to work around the words in the US Constitution's Preamble “We the People” by saying that some of US citizens were not included and were never meant to be included as part of “the People”.
I know that many of my fellow Americans would like to say that the words in the Declaration of Independence that say “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” … those words don't apply to ALL Americans.
I know that I was born in the USA and Lord willing, I'm going to die in the USA.
I KNOW that the Pledge, The Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence represent “the American Way” and they were ALL written for every American citizen whether they live at home or abroad. As long they maintain their citizenship, i.e. they don't choose to defect or give up their citizenship, then the words in these documents that form the foundation that this “Land of the Free” was built on, apply to their status and their place on the world stage.
I KNOW My Country is far from perfect. But when I look at our history, I THINK: Compared to other nations, we're still a baby country experiencing our “first steps” in many ways. When a baby takes his or her first steps doesn't everybody applaud the monumental achievement and encourage the little one to keep on going forward?? Our Founding Fathers are no longer with US to cheer, so let US blow our horn!
When Obama was elected, it was said and is still being said and will continue to be said, he is the “1st African-American” to hold the highest office in the land!! Toot! Toot!!!
George Washington was, of course, our 1st POTUS.
Abraham Lincoln was our 1st Republican POTUS. - Sadly he was also our 1st POTUS to be assassinated.
Andrew Johnson, the president who took office AFTER Abraham Lincoln, was the 1st POTUS to be impeached, but he was not removed from office (narrowly escaped).
Ulysses S. Grant was the 1st American since George Washington to hold the rank of full general. - He was also the 1st to publish his “Personal Memoirs”.
In 1872, Victoria Woodhull was the 1st woman to run for President of the United States. - 100 years late in 1972, Shirley Chisolm was the 1st black woman to run for President.
Theodore Roosevelt was the 1st statesman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was the 1st (and only) POTUS to serve 3 terms.
John F. Kennedy was the 1st Roman Catholic ever elected as President.
American astronaut Neil A. Armstong became the 1st human to set foot on the moon.
Lyndon Johnson was the 1st POTUS to nominate the 1st African-American, Thurgood Marshall, to serve as a US Supreme Court justice.
Richard Nixon was the 1st of our country's leaders to be impeached who actually had to go home!
Ronald Reagan was the 1st POTUS to appoint the 1st woman, Sandra Day O'Connor, to serve as a US Supreme Court justice. - By God's grace, Reagan was also the 1st POTUS to survive an assassination attempt by John W. Hinckley, Jr.
Just a few remarkable “first moments” in the history of the United States of America, that motivate and inspire me, and that make me believe in “the American Way”.
It's 2021, and the United States is facing a lot of challenges. We have always had enemies without, but our worse trials and tribulations are being caused by enemies within our borders; our own citizens. Should I ponder repatriation? NO. Because I believe we shall overcome. God Bless America.
Thanks for reading.
P.S. I know this is a global community and many of you are not Americans, but I would love to know, when you are giving thanks, besides being thankful for family and friends, what particular blessing is always on your list? Appreciate your comments.