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The Suburbanite
  • Writer's Perspective, 4th of July-Our birthday and heritage

  • On July 4, 1776, 13 small colonies decided that they had to break away from the tyrannical rule of Great Britain. Few gave them any chance of success against the most powerful nation in the world. But despite numerous setbacks and trying times, they eventually succeeded and thus was born the United States of America.

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  • On July 4, 1776, 13 small colonies decided that they had to break away from the tyrannical rule of Great Britain. Few gave them any chance of success against the most powerful nation in the world. But despite numerous setbacks and trying times, they eventually succeeded and thus was born the United States of America.
    Over the ensuing 236 years, our nation has grown into the most powerful country in the world. At times we have made mistakes, but overall the United States has done far more good for the rest of the world than any other country in history.
    This was brought home to me this past Memorial Day when I had the privilege to walk among the 9,387 graves at the American Cemetery in Colleville, France. In those graves rested the remains of young men and women who gave their lives to liberate Europe from the Nazis. They came, not to conquer and pillage, but to free the peoples of Europe. Across the globe, similar cemeteries mark where other Americans made the ultimate sacrifice to free others.
    But it is not just in war that this country has shown the world its generosity. After World War II, the Marshall Plan helped save Europe from economic chaos and mass starvation. Whenever a natural disaster occurs anywhere in the world, America is among the first countries to rush aide to the devastated regions. Billions of our dollars have been spent in foreign aide to help the people of under-developed countries. Americans individually contribute hundreds of millions of dollars each year to help the poor and needy throughout the world.
    All of this is part of our heritage. My grandparents came from the “old country” to a new world to start fresh. They worked hard, applied for citizenship and eventually raised their families in this great country. Between them they raised five daughters and three sons. Two of their sons fought in World War II. In turn, all of them raised families and five of their sons served our country during the Cold War. Millions of other American families have similar stories. It is all part of our individual heritages.
    This is part of what it means to be an “American.” Our history and our heritage started long before July 4, 1776. Over the centuries since then America has grown and prospered because of hard work, a positive attitude and a belief in the future. We have been blessed with men of vision and stature. Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and Lincoln are not just names in history books, but men whose courage and dedication made this country what it is today. But without the hard working people who they led, this country would not have risen to the position it holds today. The sacrifice and dedication that our ancestors exhibited helped make this country what it is today.
    Page 2 of 2 - While some people might argue that our time has passed, that can only be so if we forget what our Founding Fathers began back in 1776. As we celebrate our nation’s birthday this week, remember that America is still a shining beacon to the rest of the world. If you doubt that, then ask yourself this question: Why do millions of people still want to come here each year, just like my grandparents did back in the early 1900s? The answer is quite simple. The United States of America is still the greatest nation in the world.
    Happy birthday, America.