What about this country makes you proud to be an American? I’m proud to be an American when I think about the values on which it was based, about the intentions of our founding fathers when they drafted the constitution. I’m proud of our achievements in all disciplines: the arts, science, medicine, education, human rights. I’m proud of those who were willing to take a chance to come here in the first place, and begin a new life. I especially love our country when it responds to the world with compassion and kindness, caring for those who need our help. I’m proud that we continue the exploration of new frontiers, like other planets, renewable energy, creating something out of nothing. Our technological exploration has transformed the world and allowed us to be more interconnected than ever.

This quote from Robert F. Kennedy, 1968, seems poignant especially now: “Too much and too long, we seem to have surrendered community excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our gross national product—if we should judge American by that—counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for those who break them. It counts the destruction of our redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and the cost of a nuclear warhead, and armored cars for police who fight riots in our streets. It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife, and the television programs, which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.

Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither ow wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it tells us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.”

We are living in what is referred to as “interesting times.” May we hold on to those values that make us strong as a nation and remember what is truly important to us, the foundation we are built upon: freedom. Share what you love about our country—those values that make you proud to call her home.

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