Independence Day

July 4 2022. Independence Day. A divided nation, inflation, a shortage of critical goods, rampant crime, dangerous drugs and individuals flowing across an open U.S.-Mexico border, and a world on edge while America’s foes grow more emboldened — things aren’t great.
Things haven’t been great in America before. There was December 7 1941, November 23, 1963, April 4 1968, September 11, 2001. As bleak as it was on those days we somehow survived. I honestly believe we will survive this.

I love my country. Today we celebrate our nationhood. 246 times we have celebrated. I can get down because it seems in our country today that there will be all sorts of news about how bad we are and if we show any sort of love of country we will be labeled “Nationalist”, you possibly could be called a “White Supremacist or even worse a “MAGA person”. No I just love my country.

I celebrate today because I live in a country that is beautifully diverse. I love America because we have historically been open to immigrants, and our current composition shows it. A rainbow of beautiful people.

I celebrate today because of these rainbow of beautiful people that have become some of my best friends. I learned about Thai Cuisine from a more old grumpier bastard than I am. I miss him every day. I have had the privilege of knowing an Indonesian girl who I now look at as my daughter. I also learned it’s pho is pronounced phaaaaa not phoooo.

Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson, BB King, Buddy Guy and Freddie King. I celebrate today because American gave us the blues.

I love America because just an ordinary guy can become president. An actor can become President as well as any asshole with dreams can someday be president.

I love my country because I can worship my God and you can worship yours and not be persecuted for it. I am still grateful to the Atheist group who volunteered at the soup kitchen. A couple of Christmases ago after a church group canceled I had to talk them into stepping up and they did but only after I shamed them, reminding them that they didn’t believe in Jesus anyway so it shouldn’t be a big deal. Only in America.

Waffle House, Franklin’s BBQ in Austin Texas, Giardina’s Restaurant in Greenwood, Mississippi. Doe’s Eat Place in Greenville, Mississippi. Lamones and Sunny Point Cafe in Asheville. Catching salmon in Homer Alaska and eating them that night. I love my country.

I love my country because it is where every July 4th, 14 time champion Joey Chestnut can stuff 75 hot dogs his gullet and get paid for it.

I love my country because it gave me Abner Doubleday. Baseball and the Atlanta Braves.

I love my country because when something awful happens, whether it be 9/11 or someone getting breast cancer on your street, there is a generosity of spirit that’s amazing. I see it everywhere.

I love my country because we have homegrown tomatoes, fresh strawberries, Georgia peaches, and Sugar Baby watermelons and Cheerwine.

I love my country because we have amazing emergency workers who respond to the situations the rest of us are trying to run away from.

I love my country because we volunteer. When there is a need in the world, Americans will be among the first to assist. We may argue about our politics, but when there is trouble around, Americans come together and you want Americans nearby.

Mostly I love my country because of The Declaration of Independence. Freedom. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. All men are created equal. We are endowed by our Creator. What a idea our founding fathers brought us. Have a wonderful Independence Day. Make it 15 in a row, Joey Chestnut

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