Well I am proud to be an American,where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
’Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land!
God Bless the USA!
- “Proud to Be an American,” Lee Greenwood
The words from Lee Greenwood’s patriotic “Proud to Be and American” hit me just as the credits rolled after the new Gerard Butler movie, Olympus Has Fallen. The film features an incredible cast, including Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Ashley Judd, and Rick Yune—but the cast couldn’t have been the only reason the audience reacted so strongly to the movie. Because as my bride of twenty years and I stood to exit, I was astonished to discover people actually applauding at the end the movie. I am by no means a movie critic; I am just a simple man on the street who was out on a date in Las Vegas. But I couldn’t help but wonder what sparked this unsolicited response in a movie theater. Well, here’s my opinion: People still believe in the brand called America—and rightly so.
Here’s why we should still believe in America:
- Our country’s currency has printed on it “In God we Trust.” According to the Department of Treasury, Secretary Salmon P. Chase instructed James Pollock, Director of the Mint at Philadelphia, to prepare a motto, in a letter dated November 20, 1861: Dear Sir: No Nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins. You will cause a device to be prepared without unnecessary delay with a motto expressing in the fewest and tersest words possible this national recognition. As long as God remains on our currency, everything is going to be just fine.
- Creativity and opportunity make up the blood that pumps in the heart every American and would-be American who takes personal responsibility for his or her life. Where else in the world can you be born in the ghetto, leave the ghetto, find a job, quit a job, start a business, and never look over your shoulder? Now, that’s my America. I love this country.
- We still believe because every day is another opportunity to serve someone or something. Serving is not limited to ethnic origin, gender, marital status, religious preference, educational attainment, or socio-economic status. We serve because we have been given the opportunity to show kindness to another human being. We become more authentic when we choose to help someone who can do nothing for us.
- We still believe because we trust that we have the greatest military in the world. Enough said. But we also have the greatest minds in the world. Why would other countries want to steal our trade secrets? If they were really smart, then they would realize if we created something once, we could it again and even better.
We have the greatest music in the world. In my travels to six continents within the last decade, most of what I hear is American music from 1960s, 70s, and 80s being played like it was just released.
We have produced some of the greatest movies in the world: Schindler’s List, The Godfather, Roots, and Forrest Gump, just to name a few.
Let me bottom-line it for you:
We have a choice to rise up and believe in America through our daily actions. Yes, I understand that we are polarized in the headlines of the day. However, we have a responsibility to do the best we can while we can.
The America that we will experience tomorrow is being shaped today. What will you do to stand and defend her still today? It is totally up to us. God bless you and God Bless the United States of America.