new york statue of liberty usa monument

America

When, I was new to the country. I had so much to learn.

I am grateful for every person who ever took the time to explain something that was new to me.

I am grateful for the people who didn’t stare at me as I desperately tried to figure out the value of each coin and gave me time to look at my notes before paying.

I am glad you were patient when I had to convert my metric to feet and inches and fahrenheit.

I was relieved that you did not laugh when I wrote my dates in reverse or when I called an ‘elevator’ a lift.

Today, I am going to focus on the good.

The diversity. The huge warmth and boundless enthusiasm. The big boldness.

The courage.

The kind smile at the grocery store.

The seniors at church who were so kind to my child.

The man who held the door open for me at the busy gas-station stop.

The neighbors who offered to help.

Instead of being rude, you were patient and friendly and kind.

You are the ones, the best of this country.

That is why I wanted to be like you.

That is why I had a lump in my throat when I took my oath of citizenship.

I had a tear in my eye when I first voted.

It is why the flag does hold my awe.

You are America. You are the ones I know and respect. I will remind myself of that.

You are the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.

by

Sue Gallagher

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