Saturday, July 3, 2010

This land I live in

I'd like to introduce you to someone: 

meet Monsieur le Marquis de Lafayette. 

This Frenchman saw the potential of the still young American nation. He left his homeland to serve as a General under George Washington during the Revolutionary war. He once said that the moment he heard of the American colonies' plight: "my heart was enlisted and I thought only of joining the colors."
When the Continental Congress couldn't pay for his travel to America, he just bought the ship himself but eventually had to go through Spain to avoid getting caught. Once he made it there in 1877, he wasn't actually given command until months later when he had proved his worth. Always a firm supporter of Washington even when others tried to remove him from command, he relentlessly begged the French for more troops and greater involvement. After the war, Maryland's legislature made Lafayette and his male heirs "natural born Citizens" of the state, which made him a natural born citizen of the United States after the Constitution was in place. Other fun fact: Lafayette was a Mason. 

Why do I tell you all this? Because I have many reasons to be grateful this Independence day. I was born an american and french citizen at the same time, and I love America not despite my being born and raised in France, but because of it. There have been many brave Frenchmen that aided America in its time of need, and  they did it because they understood that America was more than just a geographical region or a country--it was an ideal, a symbol. I love this country because it's a place where anyone can become what they want. I believe it was Benjamin Franklin that once said the pursuit of happiness was indeed a right, but you have to catch it yourself. I am greatful to have the freedom to pursue happiness. I am grateful to my forefathers who established this country, and to those who have fought to defend it. I am also grateful for my fore mothers who "misbehaved" for the right to vote and other liberties I now enjoy. 
I love this rugged land out here in the west, the vast spaces and wide open skies. I am glad for the pilgrims who left so long ago for the right to believe as they please--these families created a brave new world where anything is possible if you are willing to work for it, and I am free to create my own future and worship my God as I please. 
So happy Independence Day, and may we always cherish the rights our ancestors defended so dearly. I hope that I will always have the wisdom to judge which battles to pick.

And how 'bout some fun independence day crafts? :)

1 comment:

  1. I love this post. I think people often forget the help America had in becoming an independent nation (and I personally LOVE France). Besides, their military dress is so much cooler than ours.