As our great nation celebrates its independence this week, I thought it would be appropriate to share part of an article written several years ago in a farm magazine that Mom would read every year at our family gathering.
The article is called “Celebrating the American Dream.” I am not sure who the author is or when exactly it was published, but it goes like this:
“Now-a-days, the traditions linger...food, family and an awareness of my blessings. As I watch fireworks, surrounded by my own children and grandchildren, I realize I am privileged to live the American dream, to own land, to have honest work, the freedom to raise my family, to worship God.
I think of the many who have died in pursuit of this dream, of the soldiers who have never come home from the battlefields, of the people who have crossed an ocean, who are still making their ways to our shores with the hope of what life in the United States can mean.
I realize our country is not without flaws. There is discrimination when we need fairness, blindness when we need clarity, cruelty when we need mercy. But this is a rare country, and I believe I hold within my power the ability to make it a better place, to build on what it is, to live my life in a way that shores up its ramparts where it is weak.
If God would have asked, my tiny corner of Illinois is the very place I would have chosen. I thank Him for picking so well. I am proud to be an American, born in the U.S.A. and living in the best country anywhere!”
Mom always read this prior to our July 4th meal, giving us a chance to reflect on how lucky we really are. She also shared it at Grandpa’s wiener roast birthday celebration with family in the fall. I can recall times when there wasn’t a dry eye in the room as people were listening to this. I encourage you to think about this article and realize just how blessed we are to be living in our part of Illinois.