It’s 11:11 a.m. on the Fourth of July. I’m still in bed, relaxing in my pajamas. I can’t remember the last time I was able to just sit in bed and mindlessly peruse through social media, watch TV and do nothing.
Usually on the Fourth my husband and I enjoy our city. We’ll walk around, check out fun things going on, and end the evening watching the fireworks. There’s a radio station you tune into here in our city that plays synchronized music to the show.
I’m sure you know the list. It’s your “Born in the USA,” “All Summer Long,” “Rockin’ in the Free World,” and of course, “Proud to be an American.”
This year really feels different though. I honestly… am not proud to be an American right now. I’m not proud of this harsh divide between us. I’m not proud that half of our country is supporting a person who says and does whatever he wants, even when he’s wrong. I’m not proud that we’ve taken 10 steps back from progress our country has made. I’m not proud that we’re isolating ourselves from the world. Really, we’re isolating ourselves from our own allies.
That’s a scary thought to me. But I suppose not for half of America.
While this is my home and I love it, I hate where we are. I think the country needs a big timeout. We fight, we argue. Things are happening to people that shouldn’t. We aren’t thinking clearly. We aren’t seeing clearly. And it’s all costing people the benefits of this country and what we were founded on. Although in some ways… it’s very similar to how the country was actually founded, which isn’t always what is printed in the history books. And sadly, in some ways, what is going on right now is costing some people their basic human rights.
What’s going on does not feel very American to me.
I think it would be great for everyone to slow down. A good thing to reflect back on is by reading “The New Colossus,” the poem written by Emma Lazarus and is engraved on the statue of liberty.
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flameŒ
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”