I have been an independent person since my childhood. At least, that’s what I’m told. And as far back as I can remember, I have always wanted to do things for myself, and never minded spending time alone. For me, independence is a highly valued virtue and one I do not take for granted. It is something I will fight very hard for, especially if I come across someone who wants to take it away from me.

In simple terms, Independence is self-rule, free from outside control. (Defined with the help of my handy Apple dictionary.) Granted, if one FORCES their rule over others, they should suffer the consequences and be punished. Otherwise, let us make choices for ourselves…

We, Americans, have a great degree of independence and I appreciate all those before me who have fought for this independence that I benefit from. I know it hasn’t been an easy way, a charmed road or a perfect journey to gain this independence, and there have been many bumps and detours and horrific occurrences along the way. But then, there has been much joy and a nation created for those to prosper under the truths of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” It did not grant us handouts but paved the way for us to create the independent life we want for ourselves.

As I watch America move away from independence and head toward dependence, on government in particular, I am full of sorrow. I do, however, believe we are still a great nation who values life and one’s ability to create the life one wants, and for that, I am grateful. As a first generation Italian American, whose family (on both sides) didn’t even make roots in America until the 1950s, I have seen the American Dream at work. My father rose from little means to become a successful businessman, putting himself through college while working full-time with a son and a wife, and through his own mind and body, he created his own success.

I love you, America. I thank you for what you have done for me and my family. I know you are not perfect, but I also know neither am I. But I do believe we both strive to be independent and self-reliant and for that, I feel privileged.

Happy Fourth of July!


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