Worn in the USAWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | email@example.com
Oil seeps toward the Gulf Coast sand. A financial crisis threatens to alter the American way of life for generations, from the broadest federal level to the closest neighborhood. Political divisions produce more rancor than discussion. A leadership deficit creates a confused, restless populace. Unceasing waves of electronic media threaten to overwhelm those seeking education through information. The U.S. military fights terrorist threats on a number of international fronts, while U.S. citizens fight terrorist threats at airports, public spaces and domestic fronts.
These are not the sunniest days in the United States of America. And yet …
Is there anyplace else on Earth you would rather be? Anywhere else you would choose to raise your family and live your life?
I was struck by a recent essay by Seattle blogger Karl Swenson, “Is America Still Great?”
“For every person who speaks about how America has declined in greatness, their very words continue to prove we are still great,” Swenson wrote. “All the journalists that write diatribes against America do so because America values the freedom of dissent.
“For those who protest our military, and slander them, the fact they can do such acts is a testimony to how well our military has preserved those freedoms.
“America is not just a nation, a collection of laws and people, it is also the debate on what constitutes greatness, and it is coil and churn of those ideas.
“America is not the boundaries of our states, it is the limitless, boundless world of our ideas and our beliefs.
“There are many reasons to love America and to be assured of her greatness. The free market; the free elections; the limitless opportunity for success and prosperity; the myriad cultures and faiths; the determination to be free in the face of all adversity: all of these speak to the greatness of America.”
Swenson understands the engine that powers our relatively young nation: freedom. In the history of nations, it is a novel concept. And while America has been — is — far from perfect in implementing its greatest ideal for all of its people, no nation has so fearlessly tried to uphold and spread that concept.
On this July 4, as we stop to celebrate with cookouts and fireworks, let’s take a moment to marvel that, while America is not flawless, it remains the greatest experiment in freedom that mankind has known, despite the temporary chaos and uncertainty.
Happy Fourth of July and God Bless America.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.