I can go to any number of countries that are “Free”. I could go to Japan, express my sexuality or express my indifference to authority or question the always questionable actions of my government. I can go to Canada and talk endlessly about my local sports team. I can go to Germany and talk about immigrants and how they will somehow mutilate my way of life. I can go to India, wait, I don’t want to go there. I can go to France and have just as much inspiring conversation with great thinkers the list goes on and on and on and on. A multitude of choices that probably could offer as much entertainment, education, health care and several other means to care for its Citizens.
I did not have to cross an ocean or river. I did not have to watch a family member drown or get blown to bits. I have not had to determine if an action that would lead to the death of others was the right one. I have not had to quarrel with my neighbor about where my religious belief lies and which god is the true god. I can with confidence go to the grocery store and buy whatever I want, I can pick a movie at whatever time I want. I can drive whatever car I want if I can afford it. I can date whoever I want if its mutual.
To me being an American means that I have been sheltered, protected from those that wish to kill us Americans. I am guaranteed that if any country physically invades us they will be dealt with. I am promised that there are men and women whose sole responsibility is to keep our weak, our poor our malnourished our bigoted our racists and hate filled countrymen protected. They are also sworn to keep our innocent, our children, our artists our musicians our most gifted and talented protected.
To me being an American means I have choices, I have the choice to work or not work. I am rewarded or punished for the choices I make. I am born into a country of hypocrisy, of promises that are never delivered. I am at times ashamed to be an American but most of the time proud.
Image of Japan-https://www.anthonytravel.com/illinois-wesleyan-tour/