What is ‘America’ to me?

What is ‘America’ to me?

US Flag

“United States of America”. This phrase is a mystery to me. This phrase is more than just a name, more than just a country, more than just a group of citizens. It represents pride, identity, freedom, dreams, bravery and courage. How exactly did I fall in love with this great nation?

George Washington is the first popular name I ever heard. As a 10 year old in a country far far away from the USA, this rarity was definitely something which attracted my attention. The feeling of inquisitiveness of these names spread like a virus in my body. I do not even remember the name of the person who mentioned these wonderful names to me. As a kid, I never was interested in watching any cartoons, yeah, you can laugh!. Does first in something automatically earn you respect or does respect earn you first in something (in this case Presidency). I know, too much for a 10 year old. I started inquiring and learning about this gentleman and in the process came across a person and all he knew was yet another name “Abraham Lincoln”. Fine, now I know two things more than two other things I knew about America (powerful and dollars). Remember, these were the days when there were no phones or internet (gimme a break, I’m not old!), so practically, our good friend and mentor, Google didn’t exist.

Years passed and my yearning to learn more about these names kept ringing in my head. Always wondered, how could it even be possible that the Capital, an entire state and several cities are named after one person. How, how and how? Now, my 12 year old mind is juggling with two names, with an insatiable thirst to learn more about these men, only to realize later that these were no ordinary men, but in turn heroes. In my quest to find out more about Abraham Lincoln, that is when I found out about the Civil War. All my musings about these great men were greeted with askance and ridicule by my fellow students, with some wondering if I was mentally unstable, though they never said that!. After learning more about the Civil War, President Lincoln and President Washington, who were merely names until that point, suddenly transformed into my heroes, which remains true till date. Over the years, in a continuous process of immersing myself in learning the history of the nation, the prodigious accomplishments and qualifications of these and several other men and women. Never realized when my soupçon of inquisitiveness transformed into penchant, penchant transformed into love and love into passion. After several years, the abrupt progression from an eager student to aficionado for a country called U S Of A continues to amaze me.

July 4 is my valentines day. America is the love of my life (Yes, you have my permission to laugh) not just for realizing my dreams but realizing dreams of millions others.. I’m not even remotely qualified to talk about my heroes, so I will refrain from highlighting anything which mentions their contribution to this American soil. I’m so blessed to be born in an era which still remembers my heroes President George Washington and President Abraham Lincoln. No wonder, library in my basement is replete with books about these men and about this greatest nation on this planet!

“United States of America” is till date the most magical phrase I’ve heard. I’m ever indebted to America for making my dreams come true.

Hey America! I beg forgiveness on behalf of all those people who:

  • Come to this country just for a book called “passport”
  • Think America just means dollars 
  • Think America just means a greencard
  • Blame you for everything
  • Spread hatred
  • Constantly try to dilute the Americanness out of you
  • Use your name for political gains
  • Blame you for all the historical wrongdoings
  • Do not let us forget the past
  • Constantly incite racial hatred (which is non-monochromatic) for political gains
  • Treat your flag just as a piece of cloth
  • Do not rise for national anthem

At the age of 24, I traveled around 14 countries and as of today, I lived in 4 countries. I can confidently say I’m yet to see a country greater and more magnificent than the US. Why am I fearless? My only fear in life was fear of dying as a civilian. Now that I proudly wear a uniform, as a ranked officer, I do not fear anything or anyone. My wish is fulfilled! I can die a happy man. America is more than a nation, more than a country, it is an emotion, a pride which can be felt only by those who respect and admire this great nation, for everyone else, it is just a geographical existence.

“American Dream” is a reality (this applies to citizens too), anybody who thinks otherwise is deluding himself. Thank you America! I know you changed my life forever. I love your forever and ever! God bless America and all wonderful Americans!

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