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Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Birthday, Land that I love

So...this just poured out in the last 7's sappy I suppose but it's me.

                                        Happy Birthday America
238 years ago, a brave group of Godly men literally risked their lives and fortunes (a bet that most of them lost, by the way) to give birth to a new nation. Think of that by itself...starting a country. I've started two businesses in my lifetime...I can't imagine the wisdom, instinct, courage, and boundless FAITH it took to get together in a room and decide that you were undertaking the start-up of a nation. I literally got tears in my eyes as I wrote that, because in fifty years I have never thought about it like that before. They had to know the trouble this was going to cause. They had to see down the road and understand where the bumps were. And what they could not see, or predict, they allowed for, by building into this country's Birth Certificate, the necessity of Faith. And that's what the Declaration of Independence is...our National Birth Certificate.
They risked it all and took a stand and something called "The American Way" was born.
In the 238 years since, great men have risked their own lives to back the play of those 56 original Americans. That's what they were...the very first "Americans."
In the years that followed, great men like my grandfather, who was a Sea-Bee in the Pacific Theater in WWII. Many of my uncles, including two who fought their way up Iwo Jima from opposite sides, neither knowing the other was also on the island. My father who spent two tours in Vietnam. My friend Tim Lee, who lost both legs to a land mine in Vietnam, and the thousands who served every conflict in between, have risked their lives to make good on the check those 56 first Americans wrote. Every time they went into battle, they said to the world "I'm here for George Washington" or "I'm here for John Hancock" and so on.
I can't even put into words -and I'm a wordy guy- how much I love this country. Maybe it's the immigrant-grandson thing, or the "Last Innocent Age" thing, or the time and place and people I grew up around. But I love her more than almost anything or anyone...certainly more than myself. She is sacred to me. Europe is not. South America is not...even Italy or the Ukraine (the nations of my heritage)  are not. But America is. We say "God Bless America..." but we have long forgotten that this is a plea. A desperate request. A heart-cry. "God...please bless America. We started with You in mind. Many times we have forgotten that, but never more than we have of late." Happy Birthday to my sweet Homeland. I dearly love you.

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