I don’t consider myself very patriotic. I consider myself lucky to have been born in a country that allows me freedoms I take for granted (such as the right to question my leaders), and for that I love the United States of America. But other than that, I find myself upset more often than not when in the United States surrounded by Starbucks-loving, big-car driving, get-out-of-my-way Americans.
But that changes on the 4th of July. I have celebrated the past four out of the country. Something about remembering the fight of our fore fathers for a future they believed in (even though it was not perfect and came with some heavy costs/hypocrisies) gives me goosebumps, especially when I am in another land. This past 4th I was lucky enough to celebrate at the Embassy of the United States at a pretty swanky party surrounded by leaders from both Bosnia-Herzegovina and the U.S. The American National Anthem was played, followed by the Bosnian one. The lady I was standing next to turned to me when it was done and said, “That is our anthem. No words, just music, because we couldn’t decide on them. Not even on our own national anthem.”
I’ve been mulling on that for the past few days- as much as I get annoyed/frustrated/upset with my fellow countrymen, I can’t forget that we are all united under the banner of something greater than ourselves. We may have some pretty substantial differences and debate controversial issues over and over, but at every sporting event or county fair or 4th of July, we can stand together and sing the same song. That is definitely something I took for granted and something I’ll try to keep with me upon my return back to the land of biggie size and Jamba Juice.