The older I get the more patriotic I become. The more history of America I read, the more aware I become of what it means to be an American.
I think of all those people who took a chance to bring their families to a land across the ocean. Risking their very lives. Not knowing if they would fail or thrive.
Those times must have been extremely hard, but so liberating at the same time. I can't imagine feeling so suppressed, so hopeless, that my only option for freedom was to pack up my family and risk crossing the ocean to foreign lands.
It make me ashamed of my younger self, who took it for granted how lucky I was to have been born here. Who wasn't grateful enough to my ancestors for the sacrifices they made that would one day allow me to be born amongst the freest people on this earth.
I am not a person to hang my head in shame for any of the mistakes that America has made. Here and around the world. The United States is made up of human beings. And wherever there are humans, there will be mistakes.
I am instead a person who wades through our history, looking at the good and the bad. Hoping to keep the good for us and for future generations, and hoping like hell that we learn from the bad.
Happy Birthday to the Republic that is the United States of America.