Most Americans reflect on more than fireworks and hot dogs every time the 4th of July rolls around on our calendars. At least for a few moments between cookouts and swimming parties, we consider how fortunate we are to live in the United States of America. Most of us, at least for this one day, put our political ideologies and philosophies aside and celebrate our nation with our friends and family. But, we should take a few minutes every day to consider how fortunate we are to be able to call ourselves American.
Regardless of your stance on immigration (and for the record, I am against illegal immigrant’s receiving a pathway to citizenship), it is remarkable to think how much people are willing to sacrifice to come to this country. They often risk their lives and face unimaginable dangers to reach this land of opportunity. They do this for the freedoms and luxuries that we take for granted on a daily basis. That should make every American thankful each and every day.
This country has more people, especially children, living in poverty than we should. There is no denying that but most of us can not begin to fathom what everyday life is like for the citizens of many other nations. We can’t imagine living in a country without access to clean water or where it is more normal than not to see children playing in sewage. We can’t imagine sending our children to work at 9 or 10 years old. Unfortunately, these are the realities in many other places on this Earth.
We may not like the way elections turn around. We may spend years complaining about the guy who won and reminding anyone who will listen that we voted for the other guy, but we have the opportunity to vote for our elected officials in this country. Fewer that half of eligible Americans will exercise their right to vote in their lifetime but that right is one that we should never take for granted.
Independence Day is a day to be enjoyed in this country and a day to remember what makes the good old US of A so great but shouldn’t every day be Independence Day?
Angi Stalnaker is an Alabama native who, as a political consultant, has worked on numerous statewide, legislative and constitutional amendment races for conservative causes and candidates. For more information about her visit Virtus Solutions.