On the Land of the Free and the Brave…


It’s the 4th of July.

Among the obvious reasons (which we will get to), here are some reasons why you might be acting like an excited buffoon today:

  • The day job has released you mid-week to celebrate the (questionable yet wonderful) acts of that little British spin-off group that decided they were moving out of the house and paying their own bills.
  • It’s the one day a year when devouring gross processed meat products hot-dogs is not only OK, but it makes you a better citizen (let’s get real – this reason alone is enough for me).
  • Finally, coordinating all of your red, white and blue clothing is appropriate.  No one is looking at you funny.  They are admiring you (way to be prepared!).
  • Sparklers.  Enough said.
  • Explosive pyrotechnics.

In the past 24 hours, I have engaged in shameless frolicking through the streets of Chicago, drank ‘Merican beers while watching fireworks, spent the afternoon at the beach and drank one too many “Beachside Bloody Marys” and  “Cucumber Summer Flings” (this is a real cocktail).

Of course, when one engages in such behavior for the equivalent of a day, one usually ends up in the fetal position, drooling taking an early nap.

and watching Independence Day with Will Smith… twice.

I think everyone can agree with me on this.  This movie is epic.  For a number of reasons:  We kill aliens. America saves the day (as if we were doubting!).  Will Smith punches an alien, marries a hottie and does some brave s***.  The president and the first lady have the best marriage ever. Everyone gets the girl.  None of the main characters die (only 100,000 random citizens… whatevs). There are planes that fly fast.  We see the inside of an alien ship. Area 51 is everything we thought it was and more. The underdog saves the day.  The Jewish father is H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S. Nations that threaten to blow each other up work together. Morse code still works. The president joins the troops as a fighter pilot despite the fact that putting his life in danger is the worst decision any president can make and will potentially orphan his only daughter. The happy ending.

I watched it for the 56th time…twice.  I teared up twice (that musical score gets you every time).

Despite the cheese-tastic nature of this movie, I felt inspired.

Let’s get mushy on America for just a second.

I love this country and the 4th of July.

22 years ago, my family immigrated to the land of the brave (following the acceptance of our admissions essay).

We were pretty thrilled.

We left a nice apartment in downtown Kiev, friends, jobs and the only way of life my family knew to move to America… and start over.  For my parents, it was no easy task.  They had two kids under the age of 6, they had little money, no jobs and little knowledge of the English language. The choice to make things harder in hopes of making them better is no easy decision but my parents decided it was worth it… for the chance to live in the USA.

I don’t think this country is perfect (understatement) but I do believe it is a great country and I do believe in the American dream.  From personal experience, America offers opportunities, opens its doors and has a melting pot unlike any other nation.  We’re a country that believes in happy endings, is wired to be happy (check the current time article) and is blindly optimistic.

I know we’ve hit some road bumps, but as a walking example of the American dream, I celebrate well on the 4th of July.  I celebrate to honor the independence won by those questionable band of rule-breakers that gave us the chance to dream about what we wanted to be when we grew up; to receive an education despite our religion or personal beliefs; to simply be free.

Today I celebrate because America is Awesome.

13 thoughts on “On the Land of the Free and the Brave…

      • I’m in India right now.. I was doing a Student Exchange Program. And i actually enjoyed it. But this is my last year in India, so from next year on i’ll be celebrating July 4th like normal.

        Independence Day is the best movie of all time. No other movie will ever beat that. Its one of my favorites.

  1. I also watched independence day and loved every single second. there is nothing better than watching will smith punch an alien in the desert.

    Also, really great post!

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