A man who thinks of himself as belonging to a particular national group in America has not yet become an American. -Woodrow Wilson
That's one of my favorite quotes about America and about who we are as Americans. I'm going to steal some parts of an old post I wrote two years ago about July 4th because what I said then still rings true now. America is 236 years old today. It has seen four centuries and it's mind-boggling how much has gone on in that time. People think of transportation first: horses to cars, and in the middle, trains, cable cars, subways, tractors, planes- all of those things add up to a nation that is constantly on the move, incessantly diving head first into things. I love that about my country. You can come up with a hundred, maybe a thousand, things you don't like about our government. I won't ask you to like the government. That's fine. Sometimes it's hard to like a government that spends more on war than on education and state governments that are willing to chop off funding for the arts completely. And sure, we're a nation that has the luxury of having... luxuries. But aside from all of that, we're pretty darn amazing. You can hate the institution, but I marvel at the people. We have people risking everything they have to come here. I find it interesting how people seem to react fiercely toward the "illegals" here, but there are a few reasons why I raise my eyebrows at those remarks. Most of us are the descendants of immigrants, people coming here for all kinds of reasons. I'm quite sure not all of them came "legally" at their time either. As far as not paying taxes for education- I'm quite sure that I'm okay with people becoming educated and to be given chances that will allow them to become highly successful people later on (an yes, probably naturalized as well). And they work. They work hard. So I'm happy to have people who will work, the people who care enough to serve our country in the military (my husband, my neighbors), the people who feed us, and the ones who build things around us. The people who take care of us when we are physically sick and those when we're hungering spiritually. All of those who take care of the huddled masses. America has an excessive amount of things- great things- but our people are even better. Happy birthday America.