...and what America's Greatness Means To The World
Once a year America celebrates America's greatness. That day is the 4th of July, our celebrated Day of Independence. That solemn day is now a commercialized event, which in my opinion reduces that solemn day into just another day in the lives of Americans. However, there remains a core value or principle within the souls of most Americans that True American Patriotism will always rise to the top. September 11th, 2001 proved this true.
Neighbor helped neighbor. The political winds ceased to blow but for a short time and the Nation under attack came together. That is all recent history yet it emphasizes the greatness of America and her citizens. Where I live in the hustle and bustle of early morning and afternoon rush hours, drivers were driving their vehicles differently than usual. American Flags could be seen in and on every vehicle. The world was watching us.
America still remains to this day the Beacon of Hope and a representation of what Freedom truly is and what Freedom can be. Millions of people from all walks of life flock to this nation every year. Legions of people are on waiting lists trying to come to America to start anew in the hopes of a better life than the one they are currently living. There are not millions of people on waiting lists to leave because America, even with her faults -- and there are many -- is the best nation on the face of this orb we named Earth. The world is indeed watching us.
There is no other nation on God's green Earth where the citizens are free to roam from place to place at their leisure. There is no other nation where open criticism of the government is allowed to the degree that it is. We as a people are free to opine and complain or praise and extol as we so desire without being behind bars in a prison cell or in fear that we may wind up there because of what we say.
Having said this, our Constitutional and God-given Freedoms come with a price as well as consequences. Freedom of Speech does have its limitations. We are a Nation of Law and Order. Again, the world watches us.
The greatness of any nation is her people. When the people are herded about as cattle; when the government determines how many children one can be allowed to bring into this world and thus dictate as to the acceptable gender; when a government determines which faith you may or may not possess; when movement within a nation's borders are restrictive; the nation's greatness is lost within despair and unhappiness within its people and they become automatons of that nation. When a nation does not and will not provide its people with the vehicle to obtain and pursue happiness, that nation spawns seeds of hate and discontent.
Our nation, the United States of America, guarantees the right of passage for each and every citizen the pursuit of happiness. What we as a people do with that guarantee is in our own self-made destiny and controlled by our own choices in life. Our nation's constitution does not guarantee anyone that they will achieve any particular level of happiness no matter the contrarian views we hear each and every day. Some seem to believe that happiness is given to each and every citizen. Happiness cannot be given or granted. It must be achieved by our own doing.
Her enemies also determine America's greatness. The very nature of her enemies gives credence and validity to her greatness. The enemies of Freedom will always be at odds with the very construct of the American way of life. Throughout history, America's enemies have reacted to our fast-paced growth and richness and the freedom of her citizens. Jealousy and envy are the seeds of hatred and chronic malcontents and are the very root cause of the evils thrust upon this nation both from within and without. Some called it America's Manifest Destiny that propelled this nation into greatness. I believe this to be true.
Our nation is a nation of opportunity and many people die in the process in getting to this nation as they flee the oppressiveness of other nations. Consider the Vietnamese, Cuban and Haitian boat people as a stark reminder of how desperate citizens of other nations are and what they are willing to sacrifice in getting to America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. I have never heard of boat people that have died on the open seas trying to flee America.
As the world watches America, Europe has begun returning to a non-socialist means of governance although that process will be a slow one. Nonetheless, it is taking place in historic proportions. They are turning away from that form of governance because it has failed and although our faults are many, this nation's greatness remains the Beacon of Hope. The world watches and deep down they know that America is great. We are the preeminent role model of Freedom this world has ever known. As a testament to this I present the following.
In Afghanistan on July 4th, 2008, a Polish Detachment celebrated America's Independence Day with American Forces serving there. At the end of the ceremony, the Commander of the Polish Forces presented to American Command the following:
Dear Friends, Two hundred and thirty two years ago, when your forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence, they changed the history of the world. Thanks to their sacrifices the world realized the true meaning of freedom. Independence and freedom are powerful words in your country as they are in Poland. When the United States gained independence, Poland was in the process of slowly loosing portions of its borders to its neighbors. We appreciate your efforts towards a unified and independent United States of America because we know how difficult it is to regain freedom and independence. Today we can be very happy with living in independent countries. Today we fight together for freedom for people in other countries, like here in Afghanistan.My friends, the American Dream is not broken as some would express. It is the process utilized in the chase of the American Dream that is broken. No government supplied Entitlement Program or process can guarantee any level of happiness one so desires to achieve. Only individual achievement on their own volition and inspiration can propel an individual to the levels of happiness one can dream of attaining. Hard work, dedication and the mental capacity to reach for the stars can and will pave the way for whatever goal an individual wishes to achieve. And therein, through the process of self-motivation, the pursuit of happiness begins and the struggles of life will be rewarded.
4th of July and Independence Day are identified in our country with aspiring to freedom and that is why we are so happy that we can celebrate this day with American soldiers signifying our common goals for peace and freedom. Today we wish you and your nation a peaceful and happy day.
Polish Military Contingent Afghanistan
It is the greatness of the American People, which makes our nation great. It is the unending spirit of giving, which makes this nation great. In this nation, in time of emergency, no matter one's political or religious leanings or trappings, Americans help Americans in time of need. In local emergencies and using a fire as an example, Americans run into burning buildings and not out to save those that are trapped and some die in that process. In national emergencies, as in September 11th, 2001, Americans helped Americans across this land and across the oceans. In international emergencies, the world turns to Americans to rescue them and to lend aid and comfort in unsettling times and tragedy. As in all emergencies across this Orb Earth, Americans are the first responders the world over and here at home.
When people are in harms way of tyranny and slavery to brutal dictators, it is Americans that respond and no one else unless shamed into doing so. And, we are hated for it. That is what makes the greatness of America. When we hear that the world hates us, we know that we are doing the jobs others are incapable of doing or are unwilling to do. The measure and the very nature of the naysayers of this nation is what makes America great and great she will always remain.
We seem to save ourselves from internal destruction seemingly in the nick of time. We are a self-correcting nation and other nations envy us and others hate us for it. Nevertheless, we press forward as the Beacon of Hope and still, with all of the hype we hear from the enemies of Freedom and the enemies of Law and Order to the contrary of our greatness, we still render aid when called upon and when not called upon, we still make the offer.
The world does watch us and, the nations that are not as free as we, are envious of us and what we are capable of doing.
Remember these words and may they never falter nor let their meaning escape your remembrance: from the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam, God bless America, my home sweet home.
May God continue to bless and keep us from ourselves.