Proud To Be An American
“If tomorrow all my things were gone…and I had to start again”[i] When song artist, Lee Greenwood, penned those lyrics for God Bless the USA in the 1980’s he could not imagine a world shut down and lives lost from a deadly virus. America as we knew her before the pandemic is coming back. Will people stand up together and be proud of America? Will they pray, “God bless the USA”?
Independence Day celebrations came back in 2022. Hotdogs, kids in the park, families coming together, and fireworks were back from sea to shining sea. The tradition of shooting off fireworks on the 4th of July was started in Philadelphia in 1777. Freedom over Texas, an event held in Houston, counted an estimated 32,000 back for the celebration. Numbers were down from the expected 50,000. Heat and continued concern of Covid-19 were surmised as possible reasons for the decline.[ii] For the 46th year, Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show lit the sky over New York with nearly 50,000 shells launched from five barges along the river.[iii]
There were celebrations and a renewed spirit of American pride on at least one day of this year. Will the afterglow be enough to uphold the spirit of those who are starting over again? Small businesses still struggle. The tech industry is starting to level off in its growth. Fitch-Ratings reports “Thirteen states have recovered all job losses resulting from the pandemic. Hawaii and Louisiana are the only states to not have recovered at least 70 percent of all jobs lost during the pandemic.”[iv] Conversely, Pew Research results found that half of those numbered as losing their job during the pandemic are still unemployed. [v] Which seems to conflict with the recovery of 70% of jobs lost. Prices for commodities continue to rise, further stressing the hope of rebound for many families.
America is America. Land of the free and land of opportunity. Through the years America has landed on its feet time after time. That spirit of “can do” and “endless possibilities” has drawn people from all over the world to seek citizenship in the USA. Despite the recent losses of life and economic stress, America stands tall. Her strength is in the mindfulness that many have died to keep America free. Americans standing shoulder to shoulder together to defend their rights. People can thank their Creator[vi] that they live here today, cause the flag still stands for freedom.
And I’m proud to be an American
Where at least I know I’m free
And I won’t forget the ones who died who gave that right to me
And I’ll gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today
Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God Bless the USA[vii]
May that be the prayer today and going forward in 2022.
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[i] songfacts.com/lyrics/lee-greenwood/god-bless-the-usa [ii] https://abc13.com/shell-freedom-over-texas-eleanor-tinsley-park-fireworks-show-fourth-of-july-celebrations/12020952/ [iii] https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/human-interest/2022/07/05/macy-s-fireworks-2022 [iv] https://www.fitchratings.com/research/us-public-finance/us-to-recover-all-pandemic-driven-job-losses-by-q3-2022-02-05-2022 [v] https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2020/09/24/economic-fallout-from-covid-19-continues-to-hit-lower-income-americans-the-hardest/ [vi] Declaration of Independence [vii] songfacts.com/lyrics/lee-greenwood/god-bless-the-usa