Happy Birthday America. You are old but still lively.
First of all, a quick thank you again for those in our military protecting our freedom. Many people abuse those freedoms on a daily basis and do it without respect or admiration for the blood and tears that have been spilled on the grounds of foreign countries or on old photographs of happier memories. God Bless you all and please come home safely.
Secondly, I'd like to extend a thank you to everyone else. It is because of its people that America is the greatest country to live in. People around the world feel the need to bash us with their right hands while extending their left to ask for help. Now before someone tears into my ass about Live 8, let me just go on the record to say that Live 8 was a great idea and I was personally touched by one particular moment during it's broadcast, BUT I will not deny or begin to forget that African corruption led to the billions of dollars from Live Aid being lost or stolen. You can put a band-aid on a bullet wound if you want, but someone has got to fix the source of the problem before our help will actually do anything.
Pardon my digression, moving on.
Thank you to everyone that works, doesn't work, raises a family, burns a flag (yes you too), screams obscenities at the police, screams obscenities at criminals, soldiers who fight and come home, those who do not, the welfare recipient, the welfare contributor, those on food stamps and those that ring those stamps up, the government, the governments workers, and lastly, those millions upon millions I didn't even talk about above. I have never been to a foreign country and even though I would like to one day, I know I'd be comparing everything I saw to my home, America. And I also know that we are a country that even in its darkest hours of war and political corruption, we are still light-years ahead of others who have tried to copy our system or make it better. We are still the beacon of democracy and freedom for a reason and that reason is us.
We make this country worth living in. Many people want to disregard 9/11 and any references to it. I agree it is a time to move on and not sulk on America's darkest hour, but please understand that we should never forget the feeling of that day. At once, every red-blooded American put aside his or her prejudices and stood as one nation under God. We cried, prayed, and thanked God for such a wonderful country. The beauty was, the day we did that was different for every American. For me, it was a week and a half later when Georgia played Arkansas and I saw then 86,000 Americans hold paper flags in the air proudly where men and women wept together and with PRIDE. We were now beginning to understand the pride that veterans had asked us to feel for the duration of 3 generations before 9/11. We needed a wake-up call and damn it, we got one.
Thankfully 229 years ago a group of gentlemen saw something that 80 year olds to 5 year olds in this day and age still can't fully grasp. Those Founding Fathers saw opportunity for greatness and destruction and proceeded to build a frame of rules and regulations that would ensure the former and protect against the latter. We, presently, have learned from our past mistakes but our Founding Fathers thought of those mistakes ahead of time and established a system in which we were free to make those mistakes and free to learn from them without fear of our government persecuting us.
So thank you to every beating heart within these borders and those whose heart beat 229 years ago. It is because of you that I'm allowed to do what I feel it takes to acheive my own American Dream. Words cannot ever describe how thankful I am to have been born free and how thankful I am to be free today.
With one hand over my heart and the other reaching out to shake my neighbor's I say:
Until next time kids.