Be Proud of America this July Fourth!

By Catherine Salgado on July 3, 2019

At this time in our country’s history, it seems there are countless people trying to make you hate our country. There are people from a wide variety of groups ranging across numerous religions and political convictions who hate America and would have you do the same. School teachers and journalists alike seem to find endless material in all the evils and flaws of American history.

Of course, America, being a country run by humans, has had its dark and degrading moments—everything run by humans has, and we certainly should not be blind to that. This July Fourth, Independence Day, however, take time to remember the great men and women of American History. Celebrate how wonderful it is to be American, part of the country that has been a beacon of hope and liberty to the world for hundreds of years.

Recall George Washington, the Father of his Country, and how much he risked in becoming first commander-in-chief of the colonial forces in the War for Independence (a post which would have cost him his life as a traitor had he lost the war) and the first president of the nascent United States (giving him huge responsibility for every political or economic event during the first years of America’s existence as a country).

Remember how Washington came to recognize the evil of slavery (a fact of human existence for millennia) years before many of his countrymen did and freed his own slaves. Remember how he refused to be crowned king, preferring to possess his character intact and preserve his country from tyranny than accept the kind of power that had forced the Colonials to rebel in the first place.

Recall John Adams, the lawyer who was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and who went on to become our second president. Remember too his wife Abigail, who was both the wife and the mother of a U.S. president, and whose support and guidance was essential to both. Remember Charles Carroll, the signer of the Declaration of Independence whose services to his country caused him to be referred to as its “First Citizen.”

Think about James Madison, the Father of the Constitution and the fourth U.S. president, and his wife Dolley, who so bravely and famously saved the portrait of Washington even as the British were about to storm the White House in the War of 1812. Remember Harriet Tubman, who saved so many slaves on the Underground Railroad, and especially remember Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president and the man whose determination to end slavery once and for all in America ended up costing him his life.

There are so many others; Andrew Jackson, who won the great victory at New Orleans in the War of 1812 and went on to become the first Democrat president. U.S. Grant, the general who led the Union to victory in the Civil War. Sam Houston, who led Texas in its war for independence from Mexico and its quest to join the United States. Frederick Douglass, the former slave who became a national abolitionist leader. Thomas Edison, the inventor whose discoveries in electricity and sound recording made movies possible. Eddie Rickenbacker, the most successful American fighter pilot of World War I. George Washington Carver, who discovered hundreds of practical uses for peanuts. George Patton, the greatest general of World War II. And Ronald Reagan, the president who was so vital in ensuring the fall of the Soviet Union, Communism, and the Berlin Wall.

There are, in fact, too many to mention by name, and there are numerous men and women whose names have not come down to history. All of the American soldiers from the War for Independence to the present day who have fought and died for their own liberty and the liberty of others; the pioneers who faced and conquered immense obstacles in their quest to build a great nation; the immigrants who flocked here eager to become Americans, no matter where they were from; every man, woman, and child who has worked and lived and died making this country a better place…family members of yours, family members of mine, and all the people still living today who salute our flag with pride.

Identifying and fixing our problems is important, but it is even more important to remember why we want to fix the problems. It is because we know that America is a great and free nation, under God, which has been striving toward an ideal of liberty, equality, and justice for all for centuries.

No matter how often it falls short of that ideal, remember that America is the only country which was founded on an idea (the idea that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are rights), and which has striven to follow it ever since. I would wish to see everyone who lives in this country united this July Fourth, remembering that we have to carry on a rich history, a history which should make us proud of America.

This Independence Day, celebrate the fact that you are an American, and celebrate also all the people whose sacrifices have made that possible!

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