Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What Makes America, America?

What makes America, America. That’s the title of Oprah’s show today. It’s a good question. I’ll tune it in at 4:00 cst and watch, but I thought that first I’d answer the question for myself and pose it to you out there.

America to me is being able to get in my car and drive across the borders of 48 diverse and contiguous states and never have to show ID – there are no border guards. America is an abundance of opportunity that at times seems most appreciated by the immigrants for whom it is novel and not the given. I hope I never become so jaded that I take it for granted.

It is the peaceful, if somewhat vociferous, transfer of power of the presidency and other elected offices. It is being able to write and say what’s on my mind and not be arrested for my opinion. It is the rule of law, with all its pros and cons, that gives us a basis for the decisions of our courts.

There is more, too much to list here.

I still tear up when I sing the Star Spangled Banner. Here in the South, I still attend meetings where the invocation is followed by facing the flag in the corner and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance with my hand over my heart – and I know what every word means to me.

(c) Perle Champion

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