“And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.” - [Melvin] Lee Greenwood, American country music artist

Pride in our country isn’t something that should be shelved until July.

At this time when our beloved USA, this beautiful, imperfect country of diverse, imperfect people is facing some civil unrest and a current fracturing of the American nation, along with the myriad of public health and economic crises brought on by the coronavirus pandemic ...

WHAT MAKES YOU MOST PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN?

Patriotism is still here, arguably the most unique experiment in the history of modern nation-states whose foundational ideals have been passed from one generation to the next for over two centuries.

“It’s remembering the countless sacrifices of those men and women who came before us. As we are one nation under God,” shared Mary K. Smithson of New Hope.

Courage and determination are core American values and principles that for over two hundred and forty years have underpinned this great nation.

“Here is my two cents: I am proud to be an American because of our Constitution which was divinely inspired and we still have the right to worship and because of the American spirit of ingenuity, great inventions and humanitarian spirit. It is not perfect but our way of life has been the envy of the world for many years and many people still want to come to this blessed land,” confirmed Roxanne Young of Edgewater Park, N.J.

The greatness of our republic is founded on selfless sacrifice. So very many sacrificed so very much.

"We are home of the free because we are brave! I love America because we will never know or see all of our history, but the journey of learning gets more fun with age," said John Gosselin, Watertown, Mass.

His brave son Zack is determined to always help others. http://beingzackgosselin.com

Ideals became a reality with the creation of the United States of America.

According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 57 percent of Americans believe that individuals control their own success in life, the largest share of any country surveyed.

Says Raquel Vertucio, R.N., of Bristol, “I am most proud to be an AMERICAN because it gave me the opportunity to be what I am today. Coming to America was my dream when I was 9 years old. Being young and adventurous I didn’t know what my future might have been for me. I consider myself blessed and I am grateful for all the opportunities. I have encountered many challenges along the way. I must say that those challenges made me strong and believe in myself. It gave me confidence and courage to do the best that I can be. Thank you America! To all of my fellow Americans..., be thankful and KEEP AMERICA GREAT.”

Patriotism knows no age. Patriotism is like charity ~ it begins at home.

Pastor Ed Jones, a member of the Bristol High School Class of 1957 and a resident of Wilmington, Del., shares: "'Growing Up Bristol' carries with it an automatic understanding of all that we have as Americans. At 6 years old I rode on the back of one of Pete Cattani's beverage trucks to Memorial Park to celebrate the end of WWII. Each year the celebrations and memorials of America in Bristol with the fireworks was a reminder of all we have. The War Memorial on Farragut Avenue has names of some of my relatives."

He continues, "However, in 8th grade at Bristol Jr. High, my civics teacher, Miss Peck instilled in us the meaning of the foundational bulwark of the U.S. Constitution and our Bill of Rights to America. No other nation has such a foundation as we have today. I once visited with a British citizen who was being released from Federal prison when our church was helping him to get back on his feet in life. We talked about his case and how it happened and in the process he told me about once being arrested in England without a warrant, being held for over a month before charges were brought against him, and in the meantime his property was confiscated - never to be returned. My response was, 'They can't do that to you!' He said, 'Ed, we don't have a Bill of Rights in England like you have here in America.'

"I appreciated Miss Peck's insights passed on to us through the years,"  said Jones. "Once again I was grateful for the price paid for America to be who she is. However, at that moment, in talking with that British man, I became especially proud just 'to be an American.' That was 30 years ago and I'm still proud to be American. May God bless and protect America."

American citizens are unquestionably lucky to be born in the greatest country the world has ever seen, but it is not uncommon today to encounter a college freshman with only a vague notion of our national history and the workings of our government.

“I am proudest of my country for its tolerance, its ability to embrace every culture, every background," shares Liz Fisher of Bristol Borough. "We are not a homogenous nation; we are collectively a little bit of everybody from everywhere. We celebrate what we have in common while treasuring and sharing our ethnic and cultural traditions."

The USA is more responsible for the current period of unparalleled human liberty, security, and prosperity than any other country in the world.

“What makes me so proud to be an American is, regardless of what people try to infer, this is the home of the American Dream," says Susan Zanino Corleto of Langhorne. "Though politicians and media try to focus our attention on the negative, we can choose to focus on the positive. We can seek out the good, seek out the over comers, seek out the good stories. Evil sadly exists but don't lose sight, so does goodness, joy, kindness and success. America has overcome many challenges and she will again!” 

Our country has done amazing things through hard work, true spirit, imagination, unbeatable determination and good old fashion grit, making the USA, in so very many ways, a nation like no other, and one that we can all celebrate.

Patriotism is more than just an emotion; it is a decision to nurture our beloved land.

Freedom is not the right to do as we please, but the opportunity to do what is right.

We stand tall and proud. E pluribus unum.

“And I'd gladly stand up next to you. And defend Her still today. 'Cause there ain't no doubt. I love this land. God Bless the U.S.A.”

Recommend a “Spotlight”. E-mail vjmrun@yahoo.com

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