4th of July. Independence Day … mmhumm … the day the USA commemorates independence from Britain. To the rest of the world: just Saturday
One year ago today I was watching the fireworks and Independence Day celebrations from Washington for the first time, thanks to a friend’s TiVo/Slingbox (hellooooo! Gadget Guy here… how about a little mention about which friend has the above mentioned gadgets? 😛 ) and the magic of the interwebs and I remember thinking wow these guys know how to party. In my experience, be it concerts, parades, even party conventions, the USA sure knows how to put on a show. Anyone who knows me knows that I am in love with the USA. I don’t keep it a secret. Yeah I might joke about the funny words you guys use, the crazy portions sizes, and other such trivial things but when it comes down to the wire there is no place I’d rather be. I’m truly in love with a country that is not my own. I feel complete over there. I enjoy the culture, the people, and the weather. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve never been anything but welcomed with warm smiles and so many things of interest that I’m left spinning on the spot not knowing where to turn and look first. When people ask me why I want to move to the USA I honestly joke that I left a large piece of me behind there and it refuses to come home. I feel whole on the other side of the Atlantic. Unfortunately, immigration laws pay no attention to love and have no care for my spiritual well being. Not that I blame them. I mean I’m guessing there’s a whole stack of people – thousands of them – who genuinely would crave a visa in the way I do and well ya can’t just go letting everybody in, so for now until I can prove myself indispensable to the USA in some way (ahaha don’t hold your breath ). I’m here… in the UK living the life of an “American Wannabe”.
To say this puts me in an unusual situation amongst my friends would be an understatement. As far as I could tell, one year ago I was flying the “give the USA another chance” flag all on my lonesome, far from making my mates understand my desire to move there. I was seriously struggling to even convince them that a vacation in the land of the free might be a great idea. The US of A was languishing way too low on the list of countries that deserved a visit and anti US feeling was spreading like wildfire… thanks in no small part to the perception of the former president. I do not want to comment on policy or politics of a country that is not my own, but I can tell you that that man caused so much damage to the way America was viewed in the eyes of the rest of the world… even I was finding it all so depressing – trying to reconcile my appreciation for the country and the Americans I had come to know… with the actions of their elected government… and it seemed from the outside as if the very ideals the country was founded on were under threat..
What a difference a year makes. The American population elected its first black president; a man who actually knows how to speak in public, a guy who has an abundance of charisma and charm, who seems to understand that there’s a line between sticking up for the best interests of the country he leads while at the same time showing the rest of the world the respect it deserves.
Even thought the economic situation may be worse and as a global population we have a lot of unresolved questions, these are trying times and yet here I am on this Fourth of July feeling like even I have something to celebrate. I no longer have to apologize to my friends and defend my love of America at every turn. The country is again leading the way for the rest of the world and earning its respect.
I love the Fourth of July – every bit of it: the fireworks, the pageantry, the patriotic songs, star spangled banners everywhere… even the insanity of the hot dog eating competition. I swear that one day I will make it over there somewhere to experience the festivity in person. It is undeniably American and I think the patriotic holiday is such a thrill. It’s wonderful to see genuine love and pride for your country on such a public level. A fantastic celebration, but also a reminder of all those to have fought to establish this great nation and those who still fight today to uphold those same ideals.
“All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
You have to stop and think how different the world would look today without that famous declaration. Even as a Brit I am grateful to say happy birthday to the USA and this year I can proudly say I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Happy Independence Day!