When I began my blog I decided to use WordPress for my work and publishing site, and it has been a great support system for me in my blogging adventure. One feature that WordPress has is a section called “Stats”. I can click on the Stats button each day and it will show me with bar graph displays how many times that my blog was looked at or “visited” on any given day. Even more interesting to me is a map of the world to show me the countries where visitors to my blog are from. I shared with my husband that the other day I had visitors from Germany, the United Kingdom, and Australia. All of these visitors to my blog, from around the world, gave me my idea for today’s blog offering.
What is the view of the United States from someone in another country? My husband’s niece and her husband live in Kenya and from what they have told us, our President is very popular there due to his father being a native of Kenya. From my son living in Japan for 2 years, I have learned that the Japanese people are extremely polite, curious of western culture, and would never wear ill-fitting clothes or garish outfits in public, like our son saw when his plane touched down in Seattle a couple months ago. From a humorous article I read last week, we are a puzzle to our fellow English speaking allies in Great Britain for our habits of : flossing our teeth, baking brownies and cookies, yelling out whoo-whoos whenever we’re excited about anything, and hugging everyone in sight.
The week that just passed was a horrible week for our country, especially for the city of Boston, Massachusetts and its suburbs. The two brothers who set off the two bombs that killed 3 and injured over a hundred during the 117th Boston Marathon, were found. One brother was killed in a police chase, and the second brother was found the next evening, hiding in a family’s boat in their backyard. All of the questions and speculating have begun and with our national media’s efforts, will probably keep on going for quite a while.
One thing I hope that the rest of the world witnessed was that despite this terrible act, examples of goodness and courage happened immediately. Marathon runners began taking themselves to Boston’s hospitals in order to donate blood, which would be needed for the bombing victims. The police: city, state, FBI, military, national guard, firefighters, all worked quickly and well and thoroughly to find those responsible for the bombings. As a child of a police officer, now retired, I knew that my dad dealt with people making bad choices on a daily basis, that his work had the potential for harm befalling him, but I guess I just didn’t dwell on that fact. I just knew that my dad would do his best at keeping the citizens of our Ohio town as safe as he possibly could. Many of my friends on social media began to post prayers they were praying, or reminders for all of us to pray for the people in Boston; the power of prayer and faith in God must never be downgraded or demeaned.
I hope that the rest of the world recognizes that our country was begun by a grand experiment, if you will. The colonists thought it quite unfair that they should pay ever increasing taxes to the British government with no say in the matter: no one in Parliament represented the colonists voices, whether yay or nay for these taxes. Having a very large ocean separating the colonies from their starter/sponsoring country of England also helped in providing a buffer for the burgeoning colonies when protests against the taxations began. The Founding Fathers (John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Patrick Henry, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton), and the other 50 men who signed the Declaration of Independence all knew that by signing their names it would mean death for them if they were caught by the British forces during the American Revolution.
America has been called a “melting pot” and that has been true for hundreds of years. We are a young country and when the colonies began forming in earnest, many of them were set up expressly for various groups: Massachusetts was for the Puritans, Maryland for the Catholics, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island for anyone who wanted to live in the New World. America has always been this, a land holding promise of a new start for those willing to work hard and to work wisely at making their dreams come true. My own ancestors decided to leave Germany and France for America. I think about that now and then and I am so very glad that they did.
In summing up, we Americans may be without royalty, we may be too loud, too coarse, too rude. Our entertainment culture boarders on trash and crosses over into trash at times. (For that I am embarrassed for our country!) We have societal problems, political problems, economic problems, but despite all of that and the horrors of last week, we Americans stick together. We come together in times of tragedy and offer our help, our knowledge, our faith, our prayers. It is still the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave, as the song’s lyrics proclaim.