I was born and raised in the United States of America and I'm really proud to be an American. The U.S. is not a perfect country and I don't agree with all the decisions that are made by its leaders, but at its core, I believe it is a great country. Celebrating Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain is a favorite pastime in the States. Every year, we'd head out to the biggest park in town, knowing it'd take us forever to get home once the fireworks ended. And it almost always rained. But we loved going out to celebrate, proudly wearing our red, white and blue.
As a young child, I didn't really understand what it was all about - I just went for the cotton candy, hot dogs and fireworks. As a teenager, I knew the historical facts that surrounded our independence, but I don't think it sunk in fully until much later, probably around the time I moved to Canada.
If you've never read the Declaration of Independence - the whole basis for Independence Day - it's pretty short and every American should read it at least once. After reading it again and being reminded of the extremely volatile situation in which the colonists lived, I felt grateful that these men took a stand, despite the danger it put them in, and made it possible for America to become the nation that it is today.
The great thing about the Fourth of July is that no matter what your political beliefs, no matter what state or city you came from, Americans are united in celebration of a nation that was built on the right foundation. We've teetered and we've tottered, but we always have the potential to get things re-balanced because the foundation is that strong.
Much like Canada Day, which we just celebrated here on July 1st, the whole U.S. is going to throw one gigantic party to celebrate its freedoms. So, to all my fellow Americans, Happy Independence Day! Enjoy the fireworks and the food and spare a thought for why it's all happening in the first place.