America Happy 236th Birthday

America, Happy 236th Birthday!  You don’t look a day over 200.  In your two hundred and thirty six year you have and always will be a great beacon of hope for your citizens and the world.

We are a nation of over 300 million.  Our growth as the growth in any family, has not come without some pain, without some suffering, and without some sacrifice.  We have debated major issues, some that really never made much sense.  Yet the pain, the suffering, the sacrifice and the debates have yielded great victories that make us, the great nation we are today.

Americans feel pride when we see our flag flown from the White House, around the Washington Monument, from embassies and at our nation’s major sports venues.  Your majestic colors have special significance we sometimes overlook.

Your white stripes recognize our nation’s founding in purity and innocence.  The “Old Glory Red” represents the “hardiness and valour” which you have fought for, and that which you fight to protect, be it American or for others.  And the blue, “Old Glory Blue” signifies your vigilance, perseverance and justice.

In a book published by the House of Representatives in 1977 about the flag, it is written that “the star is a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial; the stripe is symbolic of the rays of light emanating from the sun.

America, you have not always been kind to your citizens.  The framers of the US Constitution did not write words that freed the slaves, gave women equality or the right to vote, made segregation impossible, grant immigrant’s rights, or provide for health care for every American.  But it did leave the door open, for men and women to interpret the Constitution, and to right the ills that have at times plagued our country.

On your birthday America, I follow an excellent example of our founding father’s, of my parents and of God Almighty.  I embrace you as you have embraced me.  I wrap myself in our flag because I respect, appreciate and above all honor its significance.  The only thing that remains for our nation to do, is to recognize that as a nation we can do better, we can do more together, than we can apart.  The politics of division will only hurt us, and if not corrected, defeat us.  As President Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

At times the justices of our nation have helped to right our ship.  Chief Justice Warren when presiding over the Supreme Court felt he needed a unanimous decision on Brown vs. Board of Education.  When Muhammad Ali challenged the nation’s conscious and refused to be inducted into the US Army, it was a unanimous decision that vindicated him.  And recently, when some of the nation’s governors and those on the right, contested a law that would insure that every American have equal access to health care the court led by Chief Justice Roberts, by a narrow decision affirmed this right.  Often these decisions create debate, but they also unite us historically in ways the present cannot immediately teach us.

America your colors, our Declaration of Independence and US Constitution inspire the ideal of unity upon which our nation was created.  We are strongest together.  The days following 9/11 demonstrated the power of our unity.

So on your birthday, we come together as family and friends.  We come together as a nation to celebrate your birth.  We sing your song “America” with pride, we light our fireworks with excitement and celebration.  We revel in the idea that being an American is a birth given right, not all can share.

I thank you America.  I thank you for freedom.  I thank you for sacrifice.  I thank you for opportunity. Because all in all, good and bad there is no nation in the world, I would prefer to be a citizen than the land of the free, the home of the brave. America!

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14 thoughts on “America Happy 236th Birthday

  1. Your blog represents the 50 stars and 13 stripes – The freedom of expression without the fear of repercussion. Your historical facts are utterly inspiring and uplifting. Your article makes one proud to be an American! Bravo for capturing the essence of the American DREAM!

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  2. Your word resinate thru me as If ‘they were my own. America is an amazing Country and I am a very proud American. May your words continue to arm the weak and give strength to those seeking knowledge…. God Bless you Atiba and God Bless the United States of America

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    • Alex, means a lot that you took time to read. I know you, Jalen and Aiden just made the move to Tampa. I believe as you said that America is an amazing country, some say idea. It is an amazing place with amazing people who have done amazing things! I appreciate your kind words. May God bless you, your family and the United States of America 🙂

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  3. Very patriotic and insightful. Great that you also acknowledge the difficulties that many have faced and that many have been significantly oppressed in this beautiful country. As a naturalized citizen, I have the benefit of seeing this country first as a foreigner and now as one of its people. Having that lens gives you different perspectives. This is absolutely, without a doubt a great country. But I get concerned when I see that as a whole, this isn’t a nation that really wants to take care of its people and that it continues to attempt to oppress people and not allow all people to have the same civil rights. However, I must say that the tide is turning and I am very hopeful that these things too shall pass as the younger generation grows up with different values and an openness to the very differences between us that make this country so interesting and great.

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    • Samantha,

      Thanks for reading. I appreciate your comments and insight being a naturalized citizen. I think your way of looking at America indeed is distinct from those who have were born here and in particular those who have never left or lived outside the country. I understand better now my father’s desire to live outside the country with his family. He knew it would give us a better perspective and greater appreciaton of America. I am not sure it is fair to say the country seeks to oppress, but a fair assessment that there are those who still seek to oppress and not provide equal access. The tide is turning and it is evidenced by many things not just the election of someone who is not white to the presidency. Each generation is bringing more acceptance but there are those still raising their children with hate in their hearts. I believe that we all have a responsibility to rise above it all and strive and achieve excellence. Excellence in my opinion has eradicated more wrong and doubt than complaining ever has. I think often when we witness oppression we spend more time yellling about it than moving from it and showing that there is a better way.

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  4. Quite an insightful, poignant, inspirational message. Appreciate the reminder to reflect upon our Nation’s history, struggles, and greatness.

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  5. Well I guess you like America, huh? : )
    I like the personal tone of the piece; it’s obvious you’re passionate about the subject. I would’ve like to read a little more about how unity on the supreme court translated to unity among Americans, just a line or 2 to draw out that idea further. As you imply, those decisions were not celebrated nationwide so I’d be interested to know what you mean by being united by them to conclude that thought/paragraph.
    Other than that, it’s a great piece and I learned something about our flag!
    Happy 4th!

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    • Melanie, thanks for reading the blog. I hope that you will register to receive blogs in the future. As for the decision and its 5-4 decision. Well none of us are on the court and it may be tomorrow (doubt it) or in the future before we learn what happened behind the scene’s. Nevertheless, the court in my opinion has spent time voted on issues along conservative and liberal lines. Our leaders, the president and the US Congress have for perhaps the history of the court nominated and approved justices who think along certain lines. I believe what is more relevant about the court’s decision can be found in a good friend of mine Greg who recently graduated law school said in a text to me about the decision and my blog “if you want to praise a quality of his (Roberts) maybe his ability to put aside his political bias when interpreting the constitution.” I recently finished reading The President’s Club written by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy. They finish the book discussing the relationship between President George H.W. Bush, and President Bill Clinton. They said that their relationship has been criticized by both their friends. But both said if others looked at their example (the Bush family calls Clinton “their brother from another mother”) instead of criticizing it, the country would be better for it! I totally agree. 🙂

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