Proud to be an American
This Memorial Day, I woke up with a lot of gratitude in my heart, thanking God I get to live in one of the greatest countries in the world, at least in my opinion. I’m proud to be an American. One of the things that I love most about America, is the love the citizens have for their country. Americans are proud of their country and are willing to literally lay down their lives for their country. I thought of all the millions of Americans who have died in military service to their country, and I just want to say thank you to them and to their families for all the sacrifices they’ve made.
Being in the military is a great sacrifice, not only for the actual person but for their parents, their spouses and their children. Living together as a family is challenging enough but being moved around from place to place or having a parent deployed is an especially tough proposition. Spouses have different experiences when they are away from each other which shape them into the people they are and each time they come together they have to learn to reconnect to the new person they’ve each become. It’s the same with their children. Parenting skills vary and especially when the parents are apart. I can imagine there is a period of adjustment each time the family unit comes together again. This cannot be easy for the parents or their children.
Add to this the anxiety and fear of always wondering if the person in the military will make it back home. One also worries about injuries and adjusting to the emotional turmoil affecting a soldier’s life. Finally, there is the fear of financial strain if there is injury and one person cannot work again, consider the impact that has on the family.
Despite all that, I marvel at the pride with which the members of the military carry themselves. It is all worth it to them because they are Americans and they want to serve their country, to make it a better place for all of us. When we say “thank you for your service”, it really means a lot. I really am thankful for the service of the members of the military and for all the sacrifices they make. I’m also thankful for the sacrifices their families and children make.
One of the things which struck me when I first came to America, was the American pride and the love people have for their country and the sacrifices they are willing to make. I’m proud to be an American, to have such love for country. I still love my country of birth, Ghana, but the national pride here is different. Somehow the love for country I’ve seen here has actually taught me to love and respect my country of birth more too. I’ve learned what national pride means from observing it here.
When I first took my twins back to Ghana, an officer from the United States Consulate came to my mother’s home, asking for the Americans who lived at that address. My mom and I both said there are no Americans here, until they asked for my six month old twins by name. I was astounded. They explained to me that they always want to know where all the American citizens are in a country so they can locate them and help them if there is any political unrest or trouble so to speak in the host country. Now that is national pride, and that is why I’m happy to be part of something so profound.
This Memorial Day, I’m so touched and overwhelmed as I thank all the men and women who have given their lives to ensure our freedom. Thank you indeed for your service!