On returning from a two-week trip to a foreign land, I have fought back the tears while entering immigration at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. When I hear the raspy voice of Ray Charles declaring, “America, sweet America, You know, God done shed his grace on thee, ” my soul is refreshed. For a long, lingering moment, I soak in the beauty of our nation’s freedom. There’s no place like America, and I am so thankful to live here.
In 2003 I became a citizen of these United States. In the following months, I read the biographies of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Franklin. I especially loved “1776” by David Mccullough. From this nation’s birth, patriot courage and sacrifice have paved the pathway for liberty. For the strength and courage of our soldiers, I am incredibly grateful. I am reminded of Benjamin Franklin’s words in 1787. As he exited the Constitutional Convention, he was asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got- a Republic or a Monarchy?” Franklin profoundly replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” I pray we will diligently preserve the freedoms we have been given. Thank you to all my friends and family who have served to defend our freedoms. Your commitment to our nation has ensured the liberty which my family and I enjoy today.