Proud to Be an American

And I’m proud to be an American,

Where at least I know I’m free.

And I won’t forget the men who died,

Who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,

Next to you and defend her still today.

’Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,

God bless the USA.

Every time I hear this song by Lee Greenwood, I sort of tear up. When our eldest daughter’s preschool class sang this song as part of a performance for parents (substituting the word, “ones” instead of, “men,” which I totally support), I completely lost it.

What is it about this song that gets to me so much?

I think it is because it makes me think about all the people who died supporting the concepts of democracy, freedom, and opportunity, which is what America is all about.

I grew up in the ’70s and ’80s when the vestiges of the civil rights movement and Vietnam War were still being felt. Then, as now, people were debating these concepts and talking about if everyone in America had access to opportunity.

The thing about America is that to a large extent, you get to make your own circumstances. Maybe not so much everywhere else in the world, but in America, you have that option. It may not always be easy or fair, but you do have choices and opportunity.

If you give up or use excuses—even if they are legitimate—you give up control of your life and lose opportunities. I am not willing to do that. Ever. That is a choice I make, and I thank God every single day that I live in a country where I can make that choice.

The song, “Proud to Be an American” reminds me of this, so today, as we celebrate Memorial Day in America, I am going to play Lee Greenwood as a reminder of why I am proud to be an American.




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