PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN
Living in London England as a teenager, I recall walking down a street one day where I saw a large American flag waving proudly in front a building – the United States Embassy. A feeling of great love and respect flooded over me and I knew that this was my country – that it is an essential part of me. My love for America has only grown over the years and I hope and pray that it will pass on to my children and 20 grandchildren.
Why do I love America?
First, it was founded by heroic and unselfish men and women who, motivated by their love of God and freedom, made great sacrifices for future generations. Abigail Adams once wrote to her husband John about the large amount of time they had spent apart over the years as they worked for independence. In her words, “But in this cause we build a future – it is our legacy – freedom is the best gift we can impart to our children. We shall fight for the rights of men and women and shall prevail against those who would deny us this agency.”
John responded to Abigail, “We both know the dire consequences we will face if we are unsuccessful in our endeavors – but this good work is ours to do – for in our sacrifice we lay the foundation of a nation that will endow all men with equality and the ability to reach their greatest potential – and fill the measure of their creation.”
Great were the sacrifices that were made for the freedoms and equality we now enjoy. Caesar Rodney, gravely ill, rode through a tempestuous storm in order to reach Philadelphia just in time to sign Delaware’s decisive vote for the Declaration of Independence. Abigail Adams housed soldiers and melted her pewter tableware for bullets. Emily Geiger was a courageous young Patriot messenger who, when stopped by the British, managed to read, memorize and eat the message she was carrying before she was searched. When released, she made her way to General Sumter and recited the message which proved pivotal in an upcoming battle for the Americans. All of the signers of the Declaration of Independence knew they were signing their own death warrants if they were not successful in their quest to free themselves from Great Britain – at that time the most powerful country, with the most powerful king, on earth.
But God was watching over these Patriots. It is widely acknowledged by the Founders that this nation was founded under the direction and inspiration of the Almighty. In George Washington’s First Inaugural Address, he said, “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.”
Benjamin Franklin wrote, “All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor.” The founding of this country was a miracle as evidenced by those involved with it.
It is fitting that our nation’s motto is, “In God We Trust.” Perhaps this is the greatest reason that I love America: because it is a nation under God, founded on the belief that all power rests with God and that our rights - the rights for “we the people” - come from Him, not the courtesy of the government. It follows God’s pattern of endowing men with freedom, equality, and agency so that they might reach their divine potential and thus fill the measure of their creation.
And, therefore, from love of God and love of neighbor, flows the goodness of America. No other country has provided such an example of freedom and fairness to the world. Immigrants flock here. Our Constitution has been copied and modeled by nations all over the globe, thus bringing hope and freedom to more of God’s children. American dollars have generously blessed the world with humanitarian causes, medical cures, innovations in science, advancements in technology and relief from poverty. Our young men and women have bravely fought on the islands of the Pacific and on the beaches of Normandy to keep the sacred light of liberty burning bright. Truly, America is a light on the hill for all nations.
As Nikki Haley, former US ambassador to the United Nations and the daughter of immigrants, once wrote, “America is, hands down, the best country in the world. And remember, even on our worst days, we are blessed to live in America.” I too am grateful to live in the best and most free country in all the annals of history. May God continue to bless this great and exceptional country of America.