My mother is the most Patriotic Vietnamese-American non-English speaker I know.
It doesn't matter where she travels, once she comes back to the US, she always says, "I think America is still the best, no where is more comfortable than here." She only buys Made in America products or at least tries her best to do so, while reminding us to do the same.
Through the years, somehow, this belief is instilled deep within me. I remember reciting the Pledge of Allegiance as a kid in school while learning English; and now Thirty-plus years later, at public events, I still stand proudly with a lump in my throat, hand on my heart, when speaking these words, "I pledge allegiance, to the flag...with liberty and justice for all."
At times, I get frustrated when Americans complain about the US government, system, people, or way of life. It makes me want to scream out, "Let me have you live in Communist Vietnam for a month as a Vietnamese and see how you will feel then!"
I also get into colorful debates with my Vietnamese elders about our loyalties to Vietnam, the land of my birth, or America.
I miss the times when we were all proud to be Americans, it was palpable. Where have those days gone? I still get glimpses of this affection when our nation is under attack such as 911, the Oklahoma bombing, to the most recent bar shooting in Orlando. I hope it will not take these extreme catastrophic events to jolt us to unite once more.
The 4th of July means more to me than Hot Dogs and B-B-Q's. I hope you spend a moment to think on this as you look up at the booming sky filled with colorful fireworks.
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