I Am Proud To Be An American, I Profess This Loud And Proud

I Am Proud To Be An American, I Profess This Loud And Proud

This country is the land of opportunity, I am humbled and honored by those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for me to be able to have life, liberty and to pursue happiness.

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This past summer, I was blessed enough to get to work in one of the most breath-taking places I have ever been, and I was doing one of the best jobs you could dream. I was in northeast Wyoming, working on a cattle ranch. Not only was I doing a job that I really enjoyed, but I also got the chance to go to some fun activities. One of the highlights was the Wyo Rodeo. Sheridan, Wyoming was alive with a cowboy enthusiasm, or at least more so than usual. The streets were full, and everyone was feeling great.

During the rodeo, an Army veteran skydived into the rodeo arena. This alone is cool, but his story was even more incredible.

He had lost both his legs in a mid-air collision when he was serving our country. As he descended into the arena, he brought a giant American flag with him. Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" was playing, and the crowd stood to honor this incredible man as he showed his love for his country. As all the first responders hurried to catch the flag and help this hero. They pulled all the edges of the flag tight. Everyone in the crowd was able to see this massive flag which only made them cheer louder. Not a single person wore a hat and every heart was covered by the right hand.

Being in the cowboy state at a rodeo with some of the most incredible people I have ever met made me realize again, I love our country.

I love America for infinite reasons. Mostly, I am allowed to travel alone or come to a whole new state to live and go to school. I am blessed to have the freedoms that are listed and protected by the Constitution. Because I am an American, and thus, free, I can travel, get an education, and have a say-so in what goes on in Washington. I am proud to be an American because I am free.

I am proud to be an American, I profess this loud and proud.

This country is the land of opportunity, I am humbled and honored by those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for me to be able to have life, liberty and to pursue happiness. This skydiving man who, despite having undergone some serious injuries, continues to show his love for our country by falling from the sky with the flag of the country he fought for, is a symbol of how incredibly resilient our country is and how much our freedom is worth. I urge you to reflect and find a reason each week why you're proud to be an American.

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Irish-American History Is Just As Important As Any Other Culture, You Can't Prove Me Wrong

I cherish being Irish and I will not let anyone let me feel bad for that.

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Depending on when you're reading this, Saint Patrick's day has either just passed or is around the corner. For me, Saint Patrick's day is tomorrow. I've been debating this article for some time now because I didn't know how it would be perceived. At this point, though, I feel it's important for me to get out. No, Irish people were never kept as slaves in America, and I will never be one to try and say they were. However, Irish people were treated tremendously awful in America. A lot of people tend to forget, or just try to erase entirely, the history of the Irish in America. So much so that I felt shameful for wanting to celebrate my heritage. Therefore, I want to bring to light the history that everyone brushes under the rug.

In 1845, a potato famine broke out across Ireland. This was a big deal because the Irish lived off, mainly, potatoes. They were cheap, easy to grow, and had tons of nutrients. So when the famine struck, many people either died of starvation or fled to America in seek of refuge. When the Irish arrived in America they were seen as a threat to the decency of America. People viewed them as drunk beasts, sinful savages, barbaric, violent, belligerent, stupid, and white apes. When the Irish would go to look for jobs, many times they found signs that read "Irish Need Not Apply," even when the job was hiring. Therefore, the Irish did the jobs no one wanted, and even jobs African slaves wouldn't do. The biggest example of this is when Irishmen built canals and drained swamps. They were sent to do these things because of the enormous amount of mosquitoes; in the swamp, they would get bit and ultimately die of malaria.

Also, during this time, Irish people were poor and therefore lived in the same neighborhoods as the free African Americans. A lot of the Irish people were friendly with their neighbors of color and even got into interracial relationships. Because the Irish lived in these neighborhoods they were seen as dirty and even a lot of people at this time put African Americans higher on the totem pole than Irish. One person during the time even said, "At least the black families keep their homes clean."

The main reason American's outlook on Irish people changed was that most Irishmen took up fighting for the Union in the Civil War. I make this argument, not because I think the Irish suffered more than African slaves. I don't say this in means of trying to erase the struggles of the African slaves. I do not think that any of our ancestors should have been treated the way they were. I mean to say that the Irish did in fact suffer. Irish people were treated wrongly on the basis of...nothing. Simply because my ancestors hailed from the shores of Eire, they were treated with malice. And I write this simply because I want people to remember. I want people to understand what happened.

On Saint Patrick's Day this year, next year, and for the many years to come, I want people to embrace the Irish culture. I want the folks of Irish heritage to not be ashamed of where they come from; to not be ashamed to share their culture the way I have for many years. I want everyone to have a beer, wear some green, eat a potato or two, and dance the Irish step; to celebrate the history of Irish people with a bit more understanding than before.

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Our Leaders Need A 'Time-Out'

We all learned a few essential rules as children.

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As I look watch the news, I can't help but wonder if the lessons we learned as children might not serve our leaders well. They seem to have forgotten these basic lessons. I am reminded of the book by Robert Fulghum "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten."

Watch out, hold hands, and stick together.

I think this could be useful in a couple of different contexts. First, the current divisiveness in the country doesn't serve us well. We are first and foremost, a part of the family of humankind. Differences in politics, religion, and so on come in far behind that one important attribute. What happened to the notion of agreeing to disagree?

Second, when leaders get off a plane in another country, they should remember who they came with and who they represent - "watch out, hold hands, and stick together."

Clean up your own mess.

Trump seems to take great pleasure in blaming everyone else for their "mess." The government shutdown was someone else's fault – any Democrat. When the stock market went up, he happily took credit, but when it went down, he quickly shifted gears and placed the blame on the Federal Reserve Chairman. Daily and hourly tweets out of the White House place blame on someone else for his "mess." Sadly, he still likes to blame Obama and Hillary for his mess.

Don't lie.

Politicians have always had a bad reputation when it comes to honesty. Still, the number of lies that we hear from Trump (and members of his staff) is unprecedented even for a politician.

We all learned these lessons when we were little more than five years old. Now more than any time in history I think our leaders need a " time out" to re-learn these lessons.

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