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The Privilege of America

Posted 01-23-2009 at 02:03 PM by ArmyPoohFan317

***This is a post I wrote back in 1997, and I was reading it not too long ago, and thought I'd post it here.***

What does it mean to be an American? It means that I have many freedoms, I have so many freedoms. Most people yearn for just a few of my freedoms. Yet, do I truly understand the privilege of being an American? Do I truly understand just how blessed that I am to live here in this marvelous country? I donít think the majority of Americans do, we take our lifestyle for granted.

Yet, that is dreadful. Too many people have fought and died for the privilege of being Americans. They have fought and died so that their children could grow up in this land of the free. Fathers, sons, brothers, friends. Mothers, daughters, sisters, friends. They all have fought and too many have died. To be willing to give the ultimate gift is an amazing willingness. But, why would so many people make this decision? What is it about America that is worth fighting and dying for?

America is a land of amazing bounty. We have numerous farms and ranches that provide us with food to more than fill every shelf in all the grocery stores. We have more than enough jobs for every person. A person just needs to be willing to work. It may not your dream job, but there is a job out there. America has vast prairies, tall mountains, deep lakes. The food found there is wonderful. Our harvest tables are rarely empty. The quantity and sources of food alone make America special. We are a bountiful land.

America is a land of amazing people. Irish, Ethiopian, Russian, Korean, Canadian, Venezuelan, Israeli, Turkish, Armenian, French, you name it, you can find them here. And for the most part we all live together in relative harmony. An Irish-American can marry anyone she wants, and an Israeli Jewess can marry a Palestinian man. Yes, we have gang issues, and there is still racism, and parents may not like the match, but there is freedom to marry anyone.

America is a land of beauty. From the purple mountains, to the azure seas. From the umbers of October to the blues of the oceans, there is so much beauty in every state. There is so much to see here, from forests to deserts, to Mt. Rushmore and the Statue of Liberty. Beauty is seen in every sunrise and every sunset. In the stars you canít count while out in Big Sky country, to the creative architecture of city life. America is a land of beauty.

America is a land of self-rule. The citizens run the government. In the 20th century we are not doing our job, but it is still our job. The citizens elect the officials that make the decisions. But it is the job of the citizens to hold the government to a high standard. If they donít do what we want, it is our job to fire them and find someone that will be moral, honest and make the right decisions. I have a say in what my government decides, so do you!

America is a land of great freedom. I can say what I want to say, and I can publish those thoughts, and the government is not allowed to censor it, or to prevent it from being published. I can go to whatever church, mosque, synagogue, cult service that I choose. As long as I donít kill anyone while celebrating my religion, I am free to choose what I want to the believe and the government will not interfere. I am free to grow up and be whatever I want to be, and live wherever I want to live. I am F.R.E.E.!!!

America is not an easy country. The privileges that I have inherited due to my place of birth have come to me through sacrifice. They came through the sacrifice of our soldiers, airmen, coast guard, aviators, pilots, and special forces. The privileges came through the sacrifices of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters. Each time a soldier is laid to rest I am reminded of how valuable my citizenship is. Each time I see a soldier with a missing limb, in a wheelchair, sitting blind on the corner, I am reminded of the gift I have received.

I am so proud to be an American, and so very thankful to be an American. I could not begin to thank everyone that deserves it. I could not begin to express to those I love that have served, either on the homefront, or in the uniform of our military. I could not begin to tell yíall thank you. I would not want to call any other country home. Each hour in formation, each MRE consumed, each tear that falls while a loved one is deployed, each yellow ribbon on the hearts of those at home, each flag on the arm, each bullet shot, each time ď21 GunsĒ go off, it all is a testament of how special America is.

If America was not so special, these sacrifices would not be made quite so voluntarily. America is protected by a voluntarily military. We are not conscripted, forced, or coerced to serve, we choose to serve. The soldier and his wife both choose their lives and being part of the military. America is worth the sacrifice, because America is an amazing place to live. To be an American is privilege that has been purchased through too many blood, sweat and tears. Countless tears have been shed, and countless will continue to be shed as America moves into the 21st century. Because America will remain a privilege. Donít you ever forget, it is a privilege not a right. It is a gift. I hold these truths to be self-evident. America is amazing!
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