An American on the 4th of July
Every year for the 4th of July, I see fireworks. Sometimes it’s live and sometimes it’s on TV. And I like to play John Philip Sousa’s music in my backyard. I know it’s corny, but I am an American and I want to celebrate. And I want to do so with other Americans.
On another matter, many Americans hyphenate themselves – African/Italian/Irish/Hispanic/etc.-American. I don’t. I am of European descent, but I am no more European than I am African or Asian. It’s stated that America is the land of immigrants. Obviously that’s true, but the entire Western Hemisphere is the result of European, African slave and Asian immigration. Before Columbus made that fateful voyage there was no Peru, Canada, Cuba, Argentina…well, you get the picture. America has used immigration to it’s advantage – attracting some of the best and brightest (along with some not so great). In Cuba, Brazil and other nations that also had black slaves, their descendants don’t hyphenate their nationality. They refer to themselves as Cuban, Brazilian, etc. It was a black Canadian who pointed this fact out to me. She was proud to be Canadian, didn’t hyphenate her nationality, and pointed out to me that this was the only country where people didn’t want to say they were from. How many generations of descendants need to be born before you can say that you’re an American? Italians are the descendants of the Romans but they don’t refer to themselves as Italian-Romans. When will we stop hyphenating ourselves and simply say that we’re American? I wonder.
At this moment I want to wish all Americans “Happy Independence Day”! Buy a flag and fly it. Tens of thousands of white, black, asian, hispanic – you know, Americans – fought and died for your independence. Fly the flag in their memory.