I did not know what patriotism meant until I celebrated the 4thof July, Independence Day, away from the United States.  
What a truly remarkable experience I had. My incredible staff at Bordertown High School threw me a surprise party for this special American holiday. How surreal of a moment to be surrounded by friends who made red, white, and blue cakes and treats for the wandering American. I felt the ‘home away from home’ feeling you do when surrounded by love. Thank you to my Australian friends. 
The most powerful moment of the day was when a colleague started to play the National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, on her phone during the party. Within the first few notes I found myself unable to hold back tears of pride and patriotism. I was surprised at how much emotion was pooled in my heart for my country. The tears bursting forth by the line “broad striped and bright stars”. 

What a blessing it is to call the land of the free and home of the brave my homeland. 
Patriotism is the emotional connection we have for our homeland. Something that we are born with as we also nurture with our choices, we choose to be full of pride and sacrifice for our country.     
I am touched by the song “God Bless America”. My home sweet home, America. I am moved by the idea that God had his hands upon America. What I am even more touched by is that God has his loving embrace upon the whole world, not just a single country. Just like the children’s song, “He’s got the whole world in his hands”. I pray that God continues to bless every country. 
Tonight as I listened to a Marine sing “God Bless America”, I was again brought to tears as I thought of the sacrifice that our military does to give us our freedom and peace. Thank you. 
I was recently asked a question by a colleague I very much respect, “what exactly are you free to do, what is freedom?” My own simple answer to him is simple. I have the freedom to be… home in my own homeland. Not every human in every nation feels that ‘home’. I am free to be…home. This was paid for in …. a multitude of sacrifices from my family of Americans. To them, thank you. 
The following multi purpose quote from many famous presidents is….
Reagan, July 25, 1986: America is great because America is good. And if America ever stops being good, America will stop being great.


I really do think this quote is so accurate to our nation, any nation really. It the heat and pain of all the turmoil around the world, it really is as simple as … Just be a good nation. Good to one another. Good to your family. Good to yourself. Good. My prayer is that as Americans live lives of good towards one another. 
I did not know how patriotic of a person I was. I knew I loved my country, but did not know just how much I adore my homeland. We are born of the soil. Roots deep in the purple mountains and amber fields. We are a country of both native and immigrant. We are free… To be home. From sea to shining sea, God continue to shed your grace upon America. 

Must listen:

Challenge of this week:

I would love to see pictures of you and your patriotism. Send me a picture of your favorite 4th of July moment. 

Not an American? Please send me a picture of your patriotism for your country!


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