My America may not be your America, but I want it to be

MyFlags

The America I live in is one where my life has been filled with opportunity achieved through hard work, sacrifice, and persistence.

My America may not be your America, but I want it to be.

The America I celebrate today is one where brave men and women, and scared men and women, and unknown men and women fought and died for my right to write these words.

My America may not be your America, but I want it to be.

The America that holds my children in its hands is one where they can walk, run and bike alone in the day and the night and not fear that the color of their skin or the hood of their jacket may cost them their life.

My America may not be your America, but I want it to be.

The America I know is filled with exceptional people, of all colors, from all walks of life, who look at the community around them and ask, “What can I do to make it better” and they go and do it.

My America may not be your America, but I want it to be.

The America that taught me in its schools did so with all the books I needed, the food to feed me between classes and cared enough to see that I got to school in the morning and home at night.

My America may not be your America, but I want it to be.

The America that protects and serves me is surrounded by dedicated men and women in law enforcement who put their lives on the line when they put on their badge, who run to danger, comfort the frightened, save the endangered and die on sidewalks because they did their job.

My America may not be your America, but I want it to be.

The America that has been at the core of my existence for 57 years sees the world hungry and feeds it, sees the world sick and cures it,  sees the world oppressed and frees it.

My America may not be your America, but I want it to be.

The America I participate in gave me the right to vote, to protest, to rebel, to organized, to elect and be elected and never give up trying to change it.

The America that sustains me is one where nothing changes quickly but when change comes it comes quickly and with purpose and passion and on the common ground of men and women of goodwill.

My America may not be your America, but I want it to be.

Today, July 4th, my America is all these things and more.

It is the place I choose to live, choose to love, choose to change and I do so because I believe in its future because I celebrate its past.

It is a complex, difficult, and uneven past built on a path of promises too often blocked by some but not by all.

A path in which there was a clear promise of freedom of liberty for all blocked for some but not for all.

My celebration of this day is not done without clear eyes and at times a broken heart.

I see George Floyd dying on a sidewalk.  I hear Philando Castile gasping for breath.

Around me are the tents filled with the poor and the sick, the streets filled with the angry and the outraged, the stomachs filled with anything but food.

My America may not be your America, but I want it to be.

The Dream I have lived for 57 years with the hopes and opportunity and the promise to see a better life ahead of me is nowhere granted to me as a right of birth anywhere in the world other than here.

This is my America.

The America I know.

The America I love.

The America I celebrate.

My America may not be your America.

But I want it to be.

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