This week has been full of dramatic events that I think all of could agree that we could do without. We share our thoughts and condolences to those who have died.
As we think back on the birth of this country and the meaning of Independence Day, I remember the film the US Customs and Border Protection used to show on international flight arrivals into the United States. Featuring the people that make up this country, there was always a chill that went down my spine every time it played knowing I was an American, I was a part of this country, and I was returning back home, a place many people across the world are envious to do the same.
On the celebration of our nation’s independence, and in light of recent events, let’s remember a few things:
- Let’s remember the people who died to protect this country. This one doesn’t need further clarification. Pay your respects every day, not just on Memorial Day.
- Let’s remember the Fire/EMS/Police who risk their lives to keep our communities safe. Take time to either thank these people, or serve yourself. Your community will be better with your unselfish devotion.
- Let’s celebrate the work of our local civic organizations, like the Boy Scouts of America and Rotary, who work to build better citizens, and serve the local people through service projects, respectively. I serve with these organizations for no other reason other than to know I am part of the solution, not the problem. Dedicate some of your time to a non-profit who seeks to improve the quality of life for someone, somewhere.
- Let’s remember that in order to move forward, we need to remember our past. The study of history is essential to avoid disasters. Equally important, the study of our government and the basic principles of political science are essential in creating well informed voters and citizens. Without such, we are destined to fail. Don’t repeat the incident in the UK and Google “What is the EU?” the day after a major exit vote. An educated population is one that can better shape our future and better represent the USA.
- Let’s remember that to travel is to live. America is equally about freedom and voting as it is apple pie and baseball, but a true American will never understand the benefits of this country without stepping foot outside the boundaries of our borders. Travel the world. See more, do more. Meet new people. You’ll gain appreciation for the world around you, and more importantly, appreciation for why you should be thankful to live in these United States. Get a passport and explore the world – in this day and age, a flight from here to Europe is easier than buying something on eBay… You’re a citizen of one of the most respected territories on earth, and have capability of holding a passport that will let you in most other countries without question. Use it, damnit. It pains me to see people who haven’t left their hometowns or states to explore, let alone the country itself.
- Let’s remember that our youth are the future of our country. Teach them to understand the world and understand the principles our country was founded on. Teach them to be leaders, not followers. Teach them to love travel and to appreciate culture. Many youth are growing up in a society full of drugs, alcohol and violence. Teach them to serve and give back; that’s what our country needs. Make time to help with a youth serving non-profit and be a mentor to someone younger than you. This is what our country needs.
We’re a country of many people. Together, we can make a difference.
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