Why I Am Proud To Be An American
Last week, many of us read the story of Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize winning writer who is also an illegal immigrant. Today, this Independence Day, I find myself thinking of his plight again.
There are disagreements within my own household on whether he should stay in the United States. But in some poetic way, that's the beauty of America - we have a democracy which includes a Constitution protecting the Freedom of Speech.
Growing up, my family would talk about the TNT's. I learned that meant tago ng tago, loosely translated "the hiding." As a child, I looked down on the TNT's, not out of pity but out of privilege. In my youth, I took advantage of so much, including my U.S. citizenship.
But I've matured. And I've grown to appreciate what the Fourth of July to mean more hot dogs and fireworks.
I'm proud to be American because it welcomed my Grandmother at a time when the Philippines was a bit tumultuous.
I'm proud because I have friend who serve in the Armed Forces who keep me safe.
I'm proud because I can drive to the local Starbucks when some women in the world can not.
I'm proud that when I say football, I mean football. Not futbol. You know, Dawg Pound stuff. 100 yards down field. That's my kind of football.
So this holiday, I hope you have a wonderful day filled with family and friends - big, small, short, tall, Indians fans, Reds fans, Filipinos, Germans, and everyone in between. Because no matter how you define it, we're all Americans.
That's the beauty of our fine country.