Monday, September 17, 2012

Only in America

Driving down the dust filled country roads of Kansas, I watched as the wheat moved with the evening breeze. I couldn’t help but listen to some good old country music. As I continued down the road, the DJ came on and announced the next song, “Only in America” by Brooks and Dunn. I clenched the wheel of the truck harder and began to get chills while thinking of the not so distant past.

While our nation was conceived hundreds of miles from the prairies of Kansas, I can’t help but see the spirit of our founders alive and well every day. I see it in the Vietnam Veteran who was willing to sacrifice his life in the defense of freedom, to the history teacher whose job is to educate us about these sacrifices. Just think how lucky we are to live in a nation blessed by God.

“Only in America, where we dream as big as we want to.” The words of that song would not be possible if it were not for the men sent to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787.

As I continued driving, I saw signs of our Constitution alive and well.  I witnessed Tea Parties and freedom loving patriots petitioning their government, and as I drove further down the road I saw a church, a synagogue, and a mosque standing proudly in their community, worshiping freely in peace. Pulling over in a little town to grab a bite to eat, I visited a mom-and-pop restaurant trying to achieve the American Dream. As I left from the home cooked, finger-licking, good restaurant, I looked across the street and saw a father and son walking home from shooting clay pigeons in the country, exercising their 2nd Amendment rights.

After a day of driving through our great state, I got home, flipped on the TV, turned on the news and witnessed the media divulging the daily happenings from the president to your local county commissioner. As the commercials roll, political ad after ad scrolls, I see the diversity and chance to succeed from all candidates. There is a young woman who owns a small business down the road from you, a Hispanic man who is CEO of your local energy company, and a little old lady just wanting to make a change for the next generation; all of these men and women are willing to risk their livelihood just to allow the next generation the same chance they once had.

What sets America apart from any nation in the history of mankind?  It is the ability to pass onto the next generation a better life then you were able to experience. No matter what road or story we have to tell of our life experiences at the end of the day we can call ourselves an American. This spirit of altruism is rooted deep in our nation’s history and began long before we were the United States. Our Founding Fathers were shaped by the thought of self-sacrifice and exceptionalism. 

Drafted in our Constitution are the words that laid the foundation of this American Dream. “…and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Only in America is right. Only in America can a farm boy from Kansan grow up to be the 34th President of the United States. Only in America can a college dropout be one of the wealthiest men in the nation. Only in America can we spend our sunset years telling our grandchildren of the sacrifices and forefathers that created such a great nation.

As a young American I see now more than ever that our nation needs a steady rock and something to help us weather the storm. The Constitution is the rock that allows America to still be that “shining city on a hill.” Henry Clay eloquently stated in 1787, “The Constitution of the United States was made not merely for the generation that then existed, but for the posterity – unlimited, undefined, endless, perpetual posterity.”

After the sun sets, the demonstrators head home, and my TV goes black for the night, I kneel before my bed and thank God for the blessings He  has poured upon our nation. I pray that my generation can be strong and take the mantle of freedom and sacrifice left by those before. The work of freedom is never done. Long after I’m gone my children and my children’s children will take up freedom’s mantle. Thankfully, I know that they have everything they need in our founding documents to keep freedom alive.

Only in America is that possible.

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