Posts Tagged ‘George Washington’

Land of the Free,Home of the Brave

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.Our flag

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.Trumbell's painting of the Declaration of Independence

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.

Another Inauguration Day

English: Seal of the President of the United S...

English: Seal of the President of the United States Español: Escudo del Presidente de los Estados Unidos Македонски: Печат на Претседателот на Соединетите Американски Држави. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

President Obama has taken the oath of office for the Presidency of the United States and his second, 4 year term has begun.  What I kept thinking about today while this was occurring was how fortunate I was to live in the United States of America, for the reason that this event could happen without fighting, warring, or military coups, trying to jockey for the power to run the country if their candidate failed to win the election.

13  years ago, a friend of ours went on a mission trip to Western Africa.  With his skills as a carpenter,  he went on this trip  to help a mission group build some new  buildings in the community they were serving and living in.  While he was working with the mission, some local men in the community also came to help build the new structures.  They were a friendly group of workers, asking our friend questions about the United States.  As  the vote counting  battle was ongoing back in the United States, Al Gore vs. George W. Bush,   these local men told our friend that they were amazed that this vote counting was going on so peaceably. They said that if that had happened in their  country, there would have been bloodshed by now.  They went on to explain to our carpenter friend that their country was made up of 4 or 5 different tribal groups and that no tribe trusted any of the others.  That is the way of most of the African countries, our friend was told.  They went on to further explain that when their country would have an election, and one winner was from one of the 4 or 5 tribes, the other tribes would automatically cry foul and threaten to battle unless things could possibly be worked out to all tribes’ satisfactions.  If not, then battles would happen.

Goodness, but after I heard all of that from our friend after he returned from his mission trip, it made me very glad that I was born and live in the United States.  President Washington, all those years ago, in his parting speech upon retiring after his second term, warned Congress not to become divided up into political parties.  As we all know too well, our government did divide up into political parties, with two parties having  remained the dominant ones  of all the past variations.  Some of us in this country are very glad that the President was re-elected to serve for 4 more years, some of us are not glad.  However, those who didn’t vote for the President aren’t running around in their cities and towns, gathering up arms, militias, and heading to the nation’s capital to try anything radical, dangerous, or crazy to oust the President.  Those who disagreed with the election’s outcome accept it and move on with their lives.  Above all else, we remember that we are Americans.  We live in the greatest country on this earth.  Why do some many people immigrate to this nation that we Americans proudly call home?  I don’t know why my ancestors left France and Germany to come to the United States but I am so glad that they did!

I did tune in today to see the President take his oath from the Supreme Court Justice, and to see what the stylish ladies in Washington D.C. were wearing.  I did hear the songs by the choir and some famous singers, and  I enjoyed the strains of famous melodies played by the United States Marine Corps Band.  After I turned the television off to get on with my day,  I felt mostly a sort of pride, that our country can come together as a new President or a re-elected one takes the oath, and it is all done peaceably, with malice towards none.