Am I proud to be an American? You had better believe it
Peter Lucas - Posted: 07/02/2010
How does it feel to be an American?
I am sitting in a smoke-filled pub in
British Army patrols cruise the streets in armored vehicles. Armed soldiers on foot patrol sight you in their rifles, and there are roadblocks. The Brits are searching for members of the outlawed Irish Republican Army. The atmosphere is tense and depressing. To a
One of the women, downing the remains of her pint, suddenly turns to me and asks, "How does it feel to be an American?"
I am taken aback by her question. Who asks questions like that? Does anybody go around asking people how it feels to be German, or French or Greek? It doesn't happen.
But I understand. I understand her question to mean something about how it feels to be a citizen of such a free, rich, powerful and respected country like the
I ponder for a moment.
"Lucky," I say. "I feel lucky to be born an American.
That sort of ends the conversation. But I have thought about that conversation many times since then, especially around this time of year, Independence Day, the Fourth of July, our country's birthday.
The creation of the
"I believe in American exceptionalism," President Obama said in response to a reporter's question at a NATO summit in
Europeans and American liberals praised Obama for his "nuanced" reply to the question, while many Americans were puzzled that an American president would equate his country with
He also said the
Obama can only wish he could do the same with
Obama may not know it, but
Hopefully Gen. David Petraeus can straighten out Obama's war, and maybe even help save the failing Obama presidency. That, however, may be impossible, even for a hero like Petraeus.
Yet, Americans can rest assured that Petraeus, unlike Obama, believes in American exceptionalism. After all, he has on numerous occasions led men in battle and put his own life on the line fighting for his country. A man does not do that unless he believes his country is special.
So be of good cheer.
How does it feel to be an American? It feels special.
Thank you, Peter Lucas for reminding us how very fortunate we are to be Americans. There should be no hyphens either before or after that very special word that ties us inextricably to the greatest democracy the world has ever known. This great nation counts among its citizenry people from many and varied backgrounds and from every other country on earth. The common thread that binds us together is that we are all blessed to be AMERICANS. Please set aside a few minutes on our nation’s birthday to say a prayer for our troops and our veterans young and old. It was and is their sacrifice that made
Jack Meehan, Past National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in