Growing up, I was always proud to be an American, to say I was an American citizen. As a third generation Italian-American, I had heard all the stories of how my ancestors had come from Italy, seeking work and opportunity, and yes, freedom…freedom to live and worship as they believed. And, I was proud of all they accomplished because of their hard work, their family foundation, and their prayers.
I recently lost both of my grandparents, and it saddens me greatly that the America of today has changed so dramatically from the America of my ancestors. I believe that we are struggling as a nation to be proud of who we are, proud of our purpose for being, and proud of the reason this country was created.
Our people and our leaders are far from perfect. Our history has pieces we wish had never happened. Our present is marked by hypocrisy, litigation, and a zealousness for fame and political correctness that is both embarrassing and misleading. How did we get here and how do we get back to who we were meant to be as a country?
Where we once swore our allegiance to our country and to protecting our people, we now fight in court daily to tear down the very ideals that built us into a land in which everyone around the world wanted to be a citizen.
Where we once placed fear into the hearts of our enemies by our mighty military and our resolve to defend our borders from anyone wanting to do harm, we now have those of our very own plotting to tear down the very fabric of our being.
Where we once were resolute in trusting in a one, true and loving God, we are now having our very liberties dismissed by the few who want to discard or dominate them with their opinions, their lifestyles, and their animosity.
Where we once fought for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we have allowed our leaders to decide it is okay to take innocent lives in the womb, muzzle our freedom of speech, and to decide what happiness should look like for everyone.
I miss my America. I miss the people of all races, religions and creeds who were united as a people. I miss the results of strong, passionate, and conscientious leaders in government. I miss the love of country that was so prevalent and welcomed.
I still love my country. I love America. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. And, I will fly my American flag, wear my red, white, and blue, stand up for the oppressed and celebrate the warriors. And, I will proclaim my status to the world…I Am An American.
And, I will still pray for its government and its leaders, its citizens and their children, its cynics and critics, and its visitors and guests, that they too might remember that we are America, built because of our ancestors’ desire for freedom to worship and live in a country without tyranny and oppression. We are the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. God bless the USA.