I am contemplating what the 4th of July means for Americans. We are in a war. Some of our politicians seem to think it is all right to treat prisoners with cruelty and shame. This attitude shames me and other Americans. It is never all right to be cruel to others. Sometimes what we hear in the news makes me embarrassed to be an American.

But then, when I think of what it would be like to live in another country, anywhere in the world, I am grateful to be an American. No matter what goes on in our world, and with our leaders, we still live in the best of all nations.

No other nation allows their citizens the freedom to voice their opinions. In no other country can the people be guaranteed food for their children. Though we have some homeless people, most of our citizens have a roof over their head. Even the homeless could have that, if they chose to accept help when offered.

Our children, no matter if boys or girls, can attend school and get an education. They can grow up and pursue any career they choose. They can believe in God or not as they choose. And should they choose to believe in God, they can worship in the way that they wish without fear.

When we are celebrating our Nations Holiday during the 4th of July weekend, we have many parks in which to do so. Green parks, even in the desert regions. Parks with picnic tables, restroom facilities, and running water.

We have clean water running through pipes into our houses for drinking and bathing. We have comfortable beds to sleep in, warm clothing in winter, and recreation places that allow safe places to swim and play. There are many more things we have here in America, that are too numerous to name.

So when we find ourselves wondering about the life we live as Americans and the hate around the world that is directed at us, I think maybe we should look around and see what we have and why people in other nations hate us. Could it be that they are jealous of the comfortable lives we live here? I know for myself that though our country and leaders have flaws, I am still delighted to be an American, and thankful that I live here and not somewhere else.

~ Sharon (Sunyskys1943@aol.com)

July 2004



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