Sweet Land Of Liberty

As our nation celebrates 243 years of independence today, I am reminded of how truly blessed Americans are in many ways and for many reasons. Now mind you, there is always room for improvements, for wherever you have human beings, you will have human problems. The United States certainly has its share of challenges to overcome in many areas. Yet, despite the numerous problems , there are conversely as many resources that make America the envy of most countries.

Millions of people continue to seek citizenship in America because of economic and religious opportunities , the very same freedoms that our forefathers fought for and that we have the privilege of enjoying today. Americans often take these freedoms for granted; we sometimes forget that most places in the world do not have democratic governments, free speech, religious freedom, economic opportunities, or natural resources. Despite the frustrations and hardships that Americans face, I still would never want to live anywhere else in the world! As a matter of fact, I did live in Europe for a period of time and had the opportunity to travel outside of the United States on several occasions. It was fascinating and fun to learn about different cultures in various places. While living and exploring a host of countries was both very intriguing and exciting, ultimately, there was “no place like home”!

Another reason why I am grateful to live in America is because of the resources that are available for disabled individuals. Compared to other nations, the United States is light years ahead. Similar to health care, socialist governments ration their special needs services resulting in waiting lists for its citizens. Some countries have no resources at all. Special education is certainly not equitable throughout the United States, or within individual states for that matter, but, there continues to be change for the better, as painstakingly slow as it can be. Nevertheless, I’m still glad that Brian was born here. There are opportunities for him to learn and experience a much better quality of life compared to anywhere else. I am so grateful that Brian has “life, liberty”, and can “pursue happiness” with support from both family and the community.

Patriotic pride was instilled in me by my parents who both emigrated to America from Ireland in the 1950s. They were very grateful for the opportunity to be sponsored by relatives upon their arrival to New Jersey. Mom and Dad worked very hard in order to provide a good life for our family and were extremely proud to be American citizens. They also believed in giving back and were very active both in their church and local community. Mom and Dad made America their home and taught my siblings and I to be appreciative of what we had, to be hardworking, and respectful. My parents would be the first to say how blessed they were to pursue a life in America that included long term economic and religious freedom, something that would have been virtually impossible as Catholics in their native Northern Ireland.

As we celebrate the 4th of July with family and friends , may we be mindful of our blessings as American citizens and the sacrifices of those who have made such gifts possible. Nothing worthwhile usually comes easy; we know this only too well as special needs parents. It is often a difficult road and our children’s progress can be so slow at times. I can definitely relate to literally “watching the grass grow” with Brian and am often discouraged by it. I’m sure our forefathers felt the same way while fighting against the British, but their long-suffering perseverance payed off in victorious independence! It is an example of the enduring human spirit, despite the numerous obstacles, and NEVER giving up! That sounds just like a typical day in the life of a special needs family, doesn’t it? Our forefathers would be so proud! 😊

Happy 4th of July! God Bless America! Until we meet again, thanks for reading. 😊 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸

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