I don’t consider myself old; older, perhaps, but not old. I was born in the early 1950′s, like so many of my baby-boomer brethren.
Most of us grew up pledging Allegiance to both the Flag and the Republic, and loving Our County unabashedly.
This didn’t mean blind love. As we grew, we saw the injustices perpetrated against minorities, and some of us questioned different military and political adventures overseas. Some were valid, some questionable, but all worthy of intelligent discussion and debate.
This is who we are.
Sadly, some of the debate stopped being intelligent, or discussed.
But most of the people here, whether native-born or legally-adopted, felt a love for the United States, for her history, her culture, her soul.
We were and are Americans. And persons who moved here wanted to assimilate, to become as we. E Pluribus Unum.
Not just long-term visitors from a foreign land demanding we speak their language or adopt their culture.
President Theodore Roosevelt said it best,
“In this country we have no place for hyphenated Americans. A hyphenated American is not an American at all. This is just as true of the man who puts ‘Native’ before the hyphen as of the man who puts German or Irish or French before the hyphen. Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul. Our allegiance must be purely to the United States. We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance.”
I’ve Irish and German heritage. I’m proud of having both. But, I’m an American. This is who I am.