Happy 239th Birthday, USA!

This post comes late as we just moved and are still trying to contain the chaos that is unpacking ones entire life from hundreds of boxes.

Nonetheless, we were very excited to celebrate our first holiday in our new home/neighborhood: Independence Day.

Dressed in red, white, and blue attire, we headed to our neighborhood park for the annual Independence Day festival.  Although my son was still too young to participate in the kiddie carnival games, we enjoyed spending time outside as a family and even got to take a picture with Uncle Sam.

Independence Day is actually one of my favorite non-religious holidays.  There’s something about the sunny weather and everyone and everything decked out in the Stars and Stripes that makes me step back and realize just how fortunate I am to live in the United States.  Yes, the USA has its share of issues and has lots of room for improvement, however, we have incredible freedoms that many people in the world are denied.  The fact that we are able to celebrate our freedom to begin with is a blessing.  I know that sometimes I get too caught up in the whirlwind that is life and take my freedoms for granted.  And as a mom, I hope to instill in my son that although we celebrate freedom once a year with parades, BBQs, and festivals, it is important to remember that every day is Independence Day.

So in honor of Independence Day, here is my quick list of my top 10 favorite things about America (aside from my American husband ;)).

  1. Freedom. The spirit and zeal to fight for it (e.g., Declaration of Independence and our Armed Forces) to the laws/rights put in place to guarantee it (e.g., Constitution/Bill of Rights). And the fact that we say that we are all created equal and endowed by our creator “with certain inalienable rights” is self-evident (that word is written in the Declaration) is powerful.
  2. The diversity of Americans. There is a reason why America is dubbed the melting pot, and I personally think it is one of our country’s biggest strengths.
  3. The natural beauty of the land—from sea to shining sea!
  4. Separation of Church and State. Because I can live my life according to my faith and worship my God freely.
  5. The people. From the Founding Fathers to all of the amazing writers, inventors, scientists, social activists that have made significant contributions to the country and world.
  6. The American Dream. The idea of it and the idea that anything is possible.
  7. The friendliness of Americans. The first thing I noticed when I moved to the United States was how passersby say hello. It was a pleasant change from the blank stern faces I was used to seeing on the streets/buses in Poland. And it never fails to amaze me how Americans can come together (especially through volunteering or monetary donations) in face of a tragedy/disaster.
  8. California. Best. State. Ever. 🙂
  9. Customer service. Whether genuine or not, I can count on receiving polite customer service (majority of the time) where ever I go.
  10. Wide open spaces. Big shopping malls and wide freeways are great, especially during Christmas season. But it’s that wide open land seen while on a road trip or through the window of a plane that just embodies the possibility, dreams, and opportunity that America has to offer.  Not to mention, the sights are beautiful (see no. 3 above).