With all the ugly that is going on with our country, this is why I still celebrate the 4th of July.
America is not perfect. There are moments in our current political landscape that test our resolve and question how did our society become so UN-American. There are times when we are such an ugly country that raises the question if we were ever “AMERICAN.” With all of its imperfections, I celebrate the 4th of July for several little reasons, and four major reasons.
I celebrate the 4th of July primarily because my parents risked it all to immigrate (illegally) in 1974 to come here. They gambled on HOPE & OPPORTUNITY, became legal residents in the early 80’s and US citizens in the early 90’s. Their risk paid off and I am benefitting from its reward.
I celebrate the 4th of July for every DACA student, child of immigrant, and individual who has bought into the concept that with hard work, dedication, and education, we have a viable opportunity to achieve those unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
I celebrate the 4th of July for friends and family. To live in a country where a hobby becomes a career, to cherish the land where strangers turn into collaborators, and for the ability to give something a shot – to find a niche and become an entrepreneur. I value the help of others, because we share a similar vision and are free to pursue that vision.
Finally, I celebrate the 4th of July because this is my country too. With all of its hate, disdain, and painful rhetoric, I find allies that love immigrants and children of immigrants as if they were their own family. I celebrate because I will raise my daughters to be bi-lingual, teach them the native tongue of their grandparents and embrace the fact that this AMERICAN land supports my endeavor. There is no law that states I cannot speak Spanish at Target, Starbucks, or at work. I can honor my indigenous heritage, be critical of my country, but still wrap myself with the American flag. I am an American, born and raised, fully bi-lingual, fully bi-cultural, and fully aware of what it means to be an American-Latino.
If you are still wondering why I celebrate the 4th of July, I wrote a book and also made a video to further illustrate my point.
Happy 4th of July!!!