Ann Farabee column: Proud to be an American

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 2, 2022

By Ann Farabee

Democracy is a beacon shining from generation to generation, guiding us as we journey through life. It is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We are the citizens of this great country — the United States of America. We are fathers, mothers, grandparents, children, students, factory workers, construction workers, small business owners, educators, medical professionals, government workers, bankers, retail workers and so much more.

There is no way I could express my heart of love for America in words. The good news is that I do not have to speak for those heroes who fought for the freedom we have today — for they have spoken for themselves, through the legacies they have left behind, or legacies they will leave behind. Looking back brings me great pride and hope for the future.

We go to the Washington Monument, where George Washington is memorialized as the first president of the United States. He spoke these words,“Let me ask you, sir, when is the time for brave men to exert themselves in the cause of liberty and their country, if not now?”

We go to the Jefferson Memorial, where the statue of Thomas Jefferson takes us to a moment in time where we can almost feel the steps being taken to secure freedom for America, as the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776.

We go to the Lincoln Memorial, where we stand in awe of this symbol of unity, strength and wisdom, which reminds us of Abraham Lincoln’s legacy of freeing slaves and saving the union. His words still resonate today, “All men are created equal.”

We go to Arlington National Cemetery, where the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded 24/7. While standing there in respectful silence, we hear and see the changing of the guard, as we honor those who died for our country.

We go to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where we will feel emotions we did not even realize we had, as we show honor to veterans and the military.

We go to the Capitol, the meeting place of the legislative branch of the federal government. There, we are represented by those we elected, knowing they will support and defend our country through the lens of the laws of America.

We go to the White House, the official residence of our nation’s president, because it is a symbol of our government and its people. We are mesmerized by it, as we begin to grasp the gravity of what it represents.

We go to the Smithsonian Institution. As we walk through, we hear and see a video of Martin Luther King Jr, saying these words, “I have a dream.” It will remind us, that as Americans, we can all have a dream.

As we celebrate Independence Day, may we take a moment to look back, embracing all that previous generations have done to preserve our democracy. From there, we will continue to go forward. Democracy in our generation and in the generations to come will continue to be a beacon that shines on us — and through us.

Ann Farabee is a teacher, writer and speaker. Contact her at annfarabee@gmail.com or annfarabee.com.

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