This is a great year as I get to go see fireworks two nights in a row! Here are some pics from tonight’s show in my home town. Though it is exceedingly difficult to photograph fireworks, these are my attempts. I would also like to use this opportunity to talk about my Great Country, AMERICA.
This is an amazing country to live in. I have been to 14 different countries so far, and each and every time I am reminded that not only is America the best country on the planet to live in, there isn’t even a second place – or third – or forth – or…. (you get the idea) The freedom we enjoy here, the beauty we have here, the opportunity we have here, is simply unmatched anywhere else in the world. Yes, there are beautiful places throughout the world, but no other country has the vast variety of natural beauty that we have AND the freedom to enjoy it and to travel around.
America is quite simply the greatest nation the world has ever known. Is it perfect? Of course not, we live in a fallen world and it is inhabited by fallen people, but nowhere else do people have the freedom and opportunity to succeed and prosper like you can in the United States of America. Our poor are rich by global standards, and our poor have the most opportunity via education and free market to change their situation if they are willing to work hard at it.
Unfortunately, one of the things WRONG with America, is the number of Americans who have NO CLUE how great our nation is, or how lucky they are to live here. Whenever I hear Americans riping on our country, I want to send them overseas – anywhere – for at least six weeks, and then they can complain. (though I think they would find their complaints much less!) People who think America is a bad country are either ignorant, lazy, or jealous. Ignorant because they have no idea how great it is here, lazy if they blame the government for their own problems, or jealous if they don’t live here and think therefore we are a bad nation.
I am sick and tired of Americans all worked up about what other nations think of us. The irony is, other nations ENVY us because they KNOW our nation is awesome and they wish they could be us, or like us. Since they don’t get what makes us Great, they see us as an enemy. Ironically, the people here, Americans, who tear down our country verbally from within side with our enemies and fuel their jealousy ignorant that in doing so they hurt the very cause they claim to be defending. They think that if somehow we were nicer or gentler (or weaker) everyone would like us better. What they don’t get is that we aren’t liked because we are Great. We would have to cease to be Great before everyone would like us, and then what would be the point of that? And what remaining would there be to like about us?
America has never taken over another country. And we could. We are Great because we don’t use our power as so many super powers of the past did. Japan attacked us in the midst of our Christmas season, crippling our military and killing our people – what did we do? Defeated those in charge, then rebuilt their country into one of our greatest economic rivals. Germany rolled over Europe with its kiling machine, doing horrible things to those in their path, and killing millions of Jews – what did we do? Defeat their military, and then rebuild them into one of the strongest countries in Europe. We don’t level our foes, we defeat evil, and then free the people, even when they don’t always remember and back us in our times of need.
I don’t get people who don’t see that America is a Good nation. Even in our present war we don’t treat our enemies as they treat us. They behead. We imprison. They drag bodies through the streets in shame. We resist shooting when they surrender, so much that when ONE soldier fired when a man surrounded (for good reason as the claim often isn’t true) people didn’t get the reason that made international news is NOT because that soldier was so bad, but because it was so UNLIKE an American soldier. Why don’t people see the difference?
A few of our soldiers mistreat some prisoners. Again, it is international news. America allows its dirty laundry to be on the front page. We aren’t perfect, but we show the good and the bad, and we deal with the bad, and punish our own when they mistreat prisoners. Have you ever heard of our enemies dealing with their own who behead journalists or drag soldiers through the streets or dangle their bodies from bridges? Where is the outrage? Why won’t the media show the torture and human atrocities commited by Saddam, who we keep in a better prison than he would ever give any of our soldiers. And these complaints about the prison we keep terrorists in, where they get better food than our soldiers. Where we use torurue such as turning the thermostat up or down or play rap music too load. Please. Can’t people see the irony, that we have lame methods of torture, because we have a hard time torturing? We need information, but try to respect our enemies as humans, even when they are withholding information that could mean death to our own? I get sick to my stomach hearing Americans picking around searching for any tidbit they can find to make us look bad, and ignore the overwhelming examples of our enemies atrocities. What side are these people on?
Our hearts ache for every young boy and woman who dies in the defense of our nation. But why doesn’t our media and many Americans see that they die often striving to distinquish between combatant and civilian when our enemy doesn’t even care if it kills its own people to take out one of ours? We could completely destroy and decimate Iraq – and strategically that might be better – our enemies would fear us – and terrorists would know not to ‘mess with the US’ – but what do we do? Strive to bring the same peace and freedom to our enemies that we enjoy while trying to route out those who oppress them. It would be far easier to treat all Iraqies as enemies – but instead we have to distinquish between the enemy and his people, who look the same to us. We take the high road, the honorable road, the difficult road, and while our enemy uses it against us, we press on, while at home fellow Americans tear down what we are doing encouraging our enemies to keep on fighting us.
I thank God every day that we have a President in office who understands that America is fragile. A President who understands that freedom is not free and that being nice to our enemies will not make them go away. I am so glad that those out of power keep losing more power because they keep showing that they have no clue what national defense is and that sending a memo to the enemy to please get along with us will not work. War is painful. War is ugly. War brings death to those we love. But war also protects a way of life, and a Good way of life. War is not selfish, it is selfless when fought as a last resort and with painstaking efforts to fight only the enemy and not everyone who shares that region or religion. Abraham Lincoln knew both the cost of war and the necessity, and we have a united nation as a result. From World War II and through the Cold War the leaders who did what was right and not what was popular saved our nation from exstinction. Our President is doing the same. Thank God we have a President who doesn’t care about his popularity or his ‘legacy’ – he cares about what is right and what will preserve our Great Nation.
As you celebrate this July 4th holiday – don’t forget what the fireworks are to remind us of. The fireworks that have lit our skies in battles past were not so spectacular – and they brought with them death, but they also brought freedom. We are now in the midst of another great battle. The media likes to say there is no connection between 911 and the war in Irag. Don’t be fooled. There is a power struggle going on, and unfortunately, those out of power care so much about getting it back, that they don’t mind endangering our troops or betraying our nation, or lying, or distorting the truth. The war in Iraq has everything to do with 911. Not because Saddam had a direct link in 911 (though there are connections the media ignores), but because of the LESSON of 911 – the war can and will come to our own soil if we are lazy and too afraid to confront our enemies on their own turf. Everyday when you go to work, you don’t have to worry about attacks because we have taken the battle to our enemies and are fighting the Away Game so we won’t have to play a home game.
I will never forget 911. People who accuse our President of ‘politics of fear’ have forgotten 911. They have forgotten the fires in the buildings, the passengers on those flights who had their lives stolen, the hopeless people jumping from windows. They have forgotten thinking their big city was next. They have forgotten that the fear was not drummed up by politicians, the fear was real. The attacks were real. The people who died and the families they left behind where real. The police and firemen who died running into collapsing buildings with no thought to themselves were real. The threat is real, and the war is real. More people died on 911 than in any other attack in our nations history, and they weren’t soldiers. It wasn’t a military base – it was men, woman, and children going about their normal day. 911 is YOUR WORLD under attack by people who don’t want to be your friends – they want you dead and everything you believe destroyed. While we enjoy our hotdogs and hamburgers remember, our freedom is not free. It has been challenged before, is being challenged, and will be challenged again.
We have won in the past,
We will win this present battle
We will be ready the next time freedom is threatened.
God Bless America – not because it is my country, but because it is a Good country. Imagine any other country as the world’s super power, and imagine what the world would then be like.
Ignore those who tear down our country, and be glad they aren’t in power. Notice they have no ideas, only attacks. They can’t win in the arena of ideas, or in the ballot box, so all they can do is attack and smear and tear down. In the end, they will be shown for who and what they are.
Thank God for those who are in power, and for those who do what is right, even when it isn’t popular. The freedom you enjoy today was secured in the past by such leaders. The complainers and naysayers of those past eras have been long forgotten as will those of today.
Freedom will endure. It is too powerful to hold back. Happy 4th of July.