Often time, when I sing along with our National Anthem, I well up inside. Standing with thousands of other Americans, watching fireworks, as military aircraft flys over sends chills down my spine.

I am proud to be an AMERICAN! There, I said it. Does that mean I’m proud of all our history? No. Does that mean I think as a country, we got it all right? Of course not. But it isour history. It shows how we have made changes (or at least tried) while as a nation we grow to be better. To some, in order to get better, they feel the need to compare how other countries do things. Why? 

We may not get everything right, but as a nation we are lauded over because of our freedoms, our democracy, our rights. We have become a nation like that because of our history. So refusing to acknowledge it by dismissing it, in hopes of forgetting it, is like trampling on the Declaration Of Independence that history is founded on. Or taking the Red, White and Blue of Old Glory, stepping all over it, burning it, or shredding it because some feel it’s a symbol of superiority. 

It brings a tear to my eye whenever I see American pride on display. What’s so wrong about being proud to be an American? Why do we need to be sensitive about our cultural practices out of fear of offending? If we are proud, than lets be proud. When we diminish our freedoms, we are forgetting all the blood that has been given for those freedoms. It’s as if we are doing the trampling and shredding. 

Does that mean we close our borders, considering ourselves to be elite? No! But we should protect those borders as any other sovereign nation would. We should be prideful that people want to be citizens of our great land. There is a process to follow in order to gain the right to be a citizen. Is it wrong to have a prerequisite? I don’t believe it is. 

43 years ago our country celebrated 200 years of being what the world considers to be a great nation. I can remember the town I lived in, some started painting the fire hydrants with patriotic themes. It caught on and everywhere you looked there was a decorated hydrant. I don’t know if it happened across the nation, but where I lived pride was on display. 

Today you have a generation questioning if America was ever great. The fear of offending is becoming stronger than patriotism. A problem, if continued, could make us unpatriotic out of the fear of being politically correct. Our past is being forgotten, erased without reminders of how we changed in order to get it right. Out of shame, fear, and embarrassment we take down flags and monuments of our past.

Yes, a past that is soiled with mistreatment of others we should be ashamed of. There were people being discriminated against based on their race or sex. Some were even considered a lower class of humanity.  As I wrote earlier I’m not proud of those things and as a nation we should not be also. It doesn’t mean we change the foundation for which this country stands on. Our flag should always be displayed with pride regardless.  

On most nationally televised sporting events the singing of our anthem is replaced with a commercial timeout. We should never be ashamed to have that song televised regardless of what stage it’s on, or who would hear it. It’s our anthem. If it offends so be it. To some I may have just sounded callused, uncaring, or perhaps insensitive. This is not the case. I am proud for what this nation stands for. I love the purpose, and ideology of how this country was birthed. The desire to be free.

I may not agree with everyone or everything. One of those great freedoms is the fact we can disagree. We should have respect for those disagreements with equal respect for the country that gives us the ability to disagree. So if my perspective offends you, I won’t or can’t apologize for it. You see I live in America; land of the free and home of the brave. My freedom wasn’t free, it was because of the brave men and woman who laid down their lives, shedding their own blood because of love for this country.

So this 4th of July be a proud citizen of this great nation. No need for apology. Let the Red, White and Blue fly glorious and free. Let our pride honor our past, hold us strong for the future, and be displayed with boldness. Because that’s who we are.

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