4th of July Blog: Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

American flagI’m not a particularly patriotic person. I’ve traveled all over the world and I’ve seen too much and understand that we really don’t enjoy a very high quality of life, not sure this America is really all that great. Our 24/7 frenzy is killing us.

But every once in a while, I get a little rush of pride in being an American. It generally comes at a Giants game when we stand up to sing the National Anthem. It’s when we get to the part about “o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

I look around at the 42,000 other fans around me and I think about the brave people I’ve known in my life. My father who was a medic in WWII. I can’t even imagine the horrors that he saw, yet he never—ever—talked about it. Like other vets of his generation, he came home and simply got on with his life. With an incredibly strong work ethic, he built his own business and made sure his kids got a chance to go to college.

The soldiers who are coming home now from these horrible wars that never should have been in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thanks to better medical care, the survival rate has dramatically improved, so for better or worse, many of these men and women are coming home without limbs, with hideous brain injuries and uncertain futures. These people are brave beyond anything I can imagine.

Brave enough to seize opportunities
But there’s something else that makes this country great—opportunity—something I think we may take for granted. Opportunity is out there for everyone, but you have to be brave enough to reach out there and take a chance. These days, I’m surrounded by colleagues and friends who have started their own businesses and are thriving.

It hasn’t been easy and you never get to rest. I learned my work ethic from my father and inherited my mother’s indomitable spirit. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, happy that I was brave enough to take a chance, and ultimately, happy to be an American, where really, anything is possible.

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