I love this country. I really do think it is the best place in the world to live. Growing up in the 50’s I said the Pledge of Allegiance every morning at school. I remember when “under God” was added to it. The Pledge was spoken over our school intercom and was heard in every classroom. And we all stood, held our hands over our hearts and all said it in unison. If we were really lucky, we might be chosen to go the office and say it over the microphone for the whole student body to hear. And on days when I had my Brownie or Girl Scout uniform on, I got to salute instead of hold my hand over my heart. On Memorial Day I got to march in the parade in my scout uniform. Fourth of July meant fireworks, flags, picnics and dressing in red, white and blue. Sporting events meant we all stood and sang the Star Spangled Banner. In music class in elementary school we learned all kinds traditional American songs that represented the founding of this country. They will be forever imprinted in my brain: The Erie Canal, When Johnny Comes Marching Home, America the Beautiful, Star Spangled Banner, Home on the Range, Marine Hymn etc.
I am not sure I knew what all that meant at the time but it instilled a sense of patriotism in me, a sense of belonging and a sense of realizing that I was fortunate to be living in a country where we had more freedom than other people around the world.
Years went by and it became fashionable for some young people to disrespect America and what our country was involving itself in around the world. I jumped on that bandwagon for a while. And while that was true, the core values upon which this country was founded and the principles of our Founding Fathers remained the same. How people behave is what changes at times. It’s like God and the Golden Rule. It’s there. It doesn’t change, regardless of what people think or how they behave.
In 1981 I moved to Canada with my family for a job opportunity. Like most Americans, I thought of Canada as an extension of the United States. At that time, they even did use American text books in their schools. During the 13 years I lived in Canada I returned to the US at least once a year to visit family. The only major difference I always noticed was the flying of the American flag vs. the Canadian flag.
Then in 1994 we decided to move back to the United States. The move was to an entirely different state and smaller size community. So it was completely unfamiliar when the move took place. But a strange thing happened inside me. Even though I had relocated to a new state and new city, I felt that I had come home!
I was totally unprepared for this feeling of America being my home and that I had actually felt kind of displaced for all those years in Canada, even though I had thought it wasn’t that different than the US.
I had come home to my country. I do believe this is the land of freedom, but in these times those freedoms are being eroded in many ways in the name of being protected and taken care of and controlled by the government. My response is to learn to become as self sufficient as possible and learn as much as I can. I believe in the right to defend and protect myself, and my family. I need to live in such a way as to not be dependent, but can network with like-minded people who want to live in freedom. I will live in such a way that that I acknowledge a fixed point of moral reference from which I derive my code of behavior. And I know that there is personal freedom and that it comes from God Almighty, not from a government of men. Amen.