Wednesday, July 04, 2007

4th of July

There are lots of things that piss me off about this country. It is easy to take pot shots at it. The culture of excess, the obsession with huge, the bizarre combination of puritanical and prurient.

But when I am tempted to fall into cynicism, I also have to remember the things I love about it.

As a Rhode Islander, one of the greatest gifts we have is the mix of cultures. Being a coastal state, we have immigrants from all corners of the globe. Many were economic immigrants: the Irish, the Italians, the Portuguese. Others are political refugees, most recently the South East Asians from Cambodia, Laos, and my husband's country of Vietnam.

I know the debate is raging in Washington about the recent immigration bill... but for me, one of the truly great things about this country is that it is made up of people from all over the world.

So, on this 4th of July, even as we are mired in an unjust war in the middle east, even as we are collectively consuming way more than our fair share of the Earth's resources, even as we are still driving ridiculously huge gas guzzlers to the grocery store, I give thanks.

(Photo of my husband, kids, nieces, by my brother, Jake Hegnauer)

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