Hopelessly American . . .

I am an American.. I was born and raised an American. I can be nothing else .. take me to any other country, make me a citizen, dress me up like a citizen of that country .. but I will still be an American ... It's part of my soul, my spirt, my DNA.. it leaks out of every pore of my body ... we are free, we are equal, we bow to no man or nation ..let us not forgot our freedoms ...

Freedom of speech and expression
Freedom of worship
Freedom from want
Freedom from fear

MoniqueinSpring MoniqueinSpring
56-60, F
6 Responses Sep 13, 2011

Quite a stir I'd say.

well written Monique as for freedom from want,We have the right to presue what we want not just desire,and from freedom from fear when this country is attacked from afar or from with in Americans have rallied togather in a common good to sustain our way of life, and our freedoms , most older americans have been ingrained with the idea we are all patriots, and its seems the freedom of speech on Ep is working very well

I agree with every word.

I was in Russia just as the cold war was winding down. The markets were still empty and the only real food was from the black market.. I was working in engineering then and I was an adviser. The only thing I was asked to bring for the people I would be working for / with was some American cigarettes..<br />
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The people in the facility I worked in were among the best treated in Russia.. so they had potatoes and some bacon.. though the bacon was nearly spoiled and the potatoes were full of dark spot.. but at least the cabbage was fresh.<br />
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I had been in Chili when the dictator was being voted out of office.. this was led by the new idea called "glasnos" introduced by Gorbitchov.. I was asked then why we Americans had not proposed such a radical idea.. My answer was that the idea was in part... part of our becoming a nation.. They could not understand how this could have been around that long..<br />
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Though.. I too became part of the black market in Chili and then in Russia. In Chili I sold my digital watch for $25 American dollars.. it had cost me $7.00. On my second trip to Russia.. I took 10 watches and sold them all for $35.00 each..<br />
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On my trip back home.. I stayed an extra two days in London with my extra cash..I made four trips to Russia and by then I was sick of London.. so I took some extra time in the big city.. eating hot dogs from the many carts on the streets as well as the many Italian and Jewish deli's.. It was so good to be home and free to savor what so many were so eager to leave behind.. The mechanics of freedom were so very clear to our founding fathers.. perhaps because at the time we were still being ruled by those who had not yet found a way to leave...

These freedoms were introduced by Franklin D. Roosevelt, excerpted from the State of the Union Address to the Congress, January 6, 1941. FDR added freedom from want and freedom of fear to the already existing freedom of speech and worship. <br />
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From his address:<br />
In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. <br />
- The first is freedom of speech and ex<x>pression—everywhere in the world. <br />
- The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world. <br />
- The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world. <br />
- The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world. <br />
That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.<br />
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We Americans take our freedoms for granted. On any given day, we don't even think about them. They're part of us, they're in our DNA. We don't realize what being an American, until you visit a country that does have these freedoms. <br />
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In 1996, I spent three weeks in Moscow and the surrounding countryside. A group of faculty and students from a local college organized the trip, and I was invited along to helping out in schools and working on building projects. Of course, for years Russia was our cold war enemy, and were taught to fear this country as a constant menace to our national safety. <br />
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One day while driving down a street in Moscow, I noticed some Americans walking down the street. It's easy to spot Americans in Russia. They're the ones with head held high and that jaunty confidence they exude. Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but Russia is a beaten down country after 70 years of socialism. <br />
Our driver agreed. "Americans don't have a footprint on their face." he said. I was struck by his very succinct comment. <br />
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Read a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain. Our Yankee gets bonked on the head and winds up a chief advisor to King Arthur. One day he dresses the king as a commoner and takes him among his own people so he can see how they really live. A royal procession passes by and he tries to get the king to bow down, and of course it is beneath him and he has no idea how to do it or why. Americans are like that. We have no concept of royalty, and should we revere someone in such a manner, shame on us.<br />
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I though Russia was fascinating and I had always felt that the US and Russia were similar in art and culture. But in the end, I was glad go home. I couldn't shake the constant feeling of fear and mistrust in the air. <br />
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But Americans are not fearful people. No, we are not. <br />
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Our airports are not filled with panic stricken people, but rather people that are simply irritated at the inconvenience of having to go through security checks. Yes, security checks that inconvenience millions of people because of a few terrorists. And that's what terrorism is. We are essentially held hostage by terror. <br />
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But we are getting used to it now. We are conscious that there are forces in our country and around the world who want to kill us, injure us, destroy our property and landmarks. But 12 years after 9/11, we are the same people as we were before. We now share a collective mind set that if we are attacked, we will mourn our dead, re-build our buildings and go on with life. That's all we can do. But we do not wake up every morning wondering if this is the day they hijack my plane or plant a bomb in a city square or check the terrorism index to see if it is red or orange. We simply don't want to live like that.<br />
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Other countries are more experienced at fighting terrorism than we are. We're still new at it. We're rather naive in a lot of ways. A lot of Americans, especially those who don't travel outside the United States, though they understand that other countries don't like us, can't understand that there are people who hate us enough to fly an airplane into a building, killing themselves along with the passengers and those in the building. It even makes me scratch my head at the dedication they have to their cause. We need to match that dedication, and exceed it.<br />
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But we have to remember that our Four Freedoms are born in principles. They are different from laws. Laws can be changed and adapted to meet the needs of an age or era. But principles don't change, so consequently they are constantly under attack and challenged.

Consa, I don't think I need to expand. I took several days to carefully write my answer to Poetry Maid, and I think I'll leave it alone for now ... Monique

Excellent! Well said! Thank you very much. Love your thoughts, they het close to home ... and a welcome audience.

I have a poster of "The 4 Freedoms" illustrated by Norman Rockwell for The Saturday Evening Post. The characters are so ordinary, the situations so unpompous, the values so tangible, therin lies a true nobility.<br />
I think I understand those feelings. Do you feel a slight tremble all over when you hear "The Star Spangled Banner"? Are you lost in awe & wonder when you view The Grand Canyon? Does "The Gettysburg Address" cause you to breathe slowly & deeply, making you feel privileged to play even a small part in a righteous cause? How wonderful to be able to say that, "As I am a part of all this, so all this is a part of me". Be thankful for the way she has shaped & directed you. <br />
Abraham Lincoln was so right when he said that America was "The last, best hope for humanity on this earth", almost as if showing insights ahead of his times. Treasure those liberties, chiefly by exercising them, for in so doing, you help to protect & guarantee them for others. True freedom is neither the soft nor the selfish option. "You have a republic............if you can keep it".

That's very good . . .to be honest, I have never liked the Star Spangled Banner, that is to hear it sung. it takes a good singer to pull it off.. now in a group its different,. hope I don't upset any one.. I heard it played by Kenny G once at a ball game, and it truly did gave a tingle.

Now America the Beautiful is more stirring to me ... it is also has an easier range to be sung by just about anybody,.. but there we are, they don't consult me on these things, so I live with it..

I once read a book on the Gettysburg address. 269 words .. and they crowd barely heard him.. Lincoln actually had a high voice, used to love to recite poetry and Shakespeare. So he an expressive orator ..

Also, I heard Aaron Copeland's Lincoln performed this summer - absolutely electrifying (if there is a such I just invented it)..

Lately, I've been reading a book called the Defining Moment by Jonathan Altrer.. I see a lot of the qualities in LIncoln, FDR, and Obama: tremendous vision with a balance of compassion .. all three were injected into difficult periods of our history.

And of course, I have the Norman Rockwell painting fof the Four Freedoms. .... good stuff ..