The 4TH

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It’s the fourth of July! Happy Independence Day, folks.

As an immigrant, there aren’t a lot of American holidays that mean as much to me as this day. I guess it’s mainly because we’re celebrating what rings true to every soul on this planet, no matter the race or color: independence, translating into life, liberty and happiness.

Super short history lesson. Back in July 4, 1776, America’s forefathers adopted the Declaration of Independence and proclaimed her secession from Britain. On that day so long ago, an independent America was born, growing into the America we now call home.

Yes, home, for the descendants of the first pilgrims, for the children of those who crossed the Atlantic, and for latter immigrants like me. I don’t mean to wax poetic, but in the years since then, America has grown to welcome those who have found themselves on her shores (or airports), looking for their own jar of possibilities.

Consider the statistic.  According to the United States Census Bureau, on July of 1776 there were about 2.5 million people living in what was then known as America. This year the estimate is at 313.9 million. In two hundred thirty-six years, the population rose by 311.4 million! That’s a huge leap, and a great affirmation that the birth of this great nation is worth commemorating.

I am part of that statistic. So are you. And in this case, it’s a very good thing.

So whether your family is hosting a backyard barbecue or you’re joining friends for a picnic by the lake, do so with gratitude for the heroes of the past.

Whether you’re standing on the sidewalk cheering on a parade or catching a park concert, do so with thankfulness for the future.

And whether you’re holding your breath at a fireworks show or biting into a cold slice of watermelon, say a prayer for all those who fight to keep America safe.

Remember what the banners are for.

Wave that flag high!

Happy Fourth of July!

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