I Love My Country

I love the United States of America because it’s still a land of hope and opportunity.  Our unique freedom has made this nation a place where truly anything is possible.  I remember speaking with an Irish Pastor who commented on my optimism and “can do” attitude…He identified it uniquely American and lamented that many of the Irish had a difficult time relating to that optimism because of their history.  The whole world still sees America as a land of opportunity.  Just ask any of the countless people who daily risk everything for a chance at the American dream.

I love my country because for every act of violence, greed, and malice that is plastered all over the news for the whole world to see, there are a thousand acts of love, compassion, and sacrifice that never get a mention.  The reason they never get a mention is that they are so common and such a regular part of everyday American life. They can’t really be considered news…they’re just, normal. This nation is a place where kindness and helping your neighbor in a time of need is still second nature.

I love America because we are still willing to fight for what is right.  No matter what the popular sentiment may be, most people in this country still know that there is evil in the world and that there are people who will try to take advantage of the weak and defenseless for their own gain.  Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Whether it’s local police, the National Guard, or the US military, we still understand that freedom and peace for ourselves, and others, must be defended, even if it means the use of force.

I love my country for her exceptional generosity.  Wherever there is need and poverty around the world you will see aid from the United States. I am appalled and angered as I see certain nations using one hand to throw insults at the US while the other is outstretched to receive the aid and support which is so freely given.

I love the United States because we are a melting pot that truly embraces diversity, and always has!  Contrary to the popular critique, long before the term came into vogue, America leveraged the power of diversity.  We are a nation of immigrants and while we do have our own culture, which has evolved over time, it is a tapestry of our immigrant roots.  Part of America’s greatness is her willingness, to the point of obsession, to learn from anyone and everyone.  For Americans, diversity is more than a good idea; it’s a way of life!

I love my country because of her willingness to address her flaws.  Yes, there is pride and arrogance to spare in this nation of ours, but we’ll usually be the first to admit it and then condemn it!  We recognize that we are far from perfect and that our power and wealth have as much potential to destroy us as to deliver us.

I love the United States of America and I pray for her.  We have been blessed, by our Creator, beyond anything the world has ever seen.  With great blessing comes great responsibility. May we never forget where we’ve come from and who brought us here. May we embrace a humility that extends beyond self-criticism to real gratitude.  It’s not wrong to love our country and believe in her greatness, it’s just wrong to take credit for it or to believe that it makes us somehow superior to other people.  May God continue to bless America and may we continue to see it as our responsibility to be a blessing to the world around us.

- Sean Azzaro