Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Free Indeed

Your annoying neighbor with that stupid dog that won't stop barking.
Your favorite teacher who challenges you to learn more.
That lady at the bank who never smiles.
The mailman who always forgets to put your boxes in the shade, even when you've asked more than once.
Your grandma who lives across the country.
A stranger you pass on the street every Tuesday morning on your way to the market.

What do they all have in common?
They're all Americans.

We all love America, and that's one of the many things that unites us. United? Yes. That's why we're the United States of America. I'm proud to be an American, and I am so blessed to live here.

Over spring break I visited Ground Zero. It had been over a decade since that fateful day in September, and I'd had several other opportunities to visit the site, but I didn't want to. This time everyone I was with decided to go, so I didn't really have a choice.

I thought it would be depressing, thought it would remind me too much of the horrors of that day. The experience, however, was different from what I thought. Seeing the yawning expanses in the ground that were larger than I imagined them to be did strike my heart with a sense of awe and doleful nostalgia for what used to be there and for the many lives that were lost that day. But they managed to turn the wreckage of something so awful into a site of American memory, honor, and respect. What happened on that day was awful, no two ways about it, but where they tried to destroy the spirit of Americans, I think the disaster made people come together.

United. Yes, we are. We're free, and that's why we celebrate with fireworks, barbecues, family gatherings, and much more. God bless America, and may we continue to be blessings to the world around us as well.

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