Today my little family and I went to a park near my school for a 4th of July picnic. The park was packed with families from the neighborhood- families from all over the world. Each little pavilion held a different family from a different country- at one pavilion a Pakistani family played cricket while nearby a family from Bolivia grilled hot dogs. Girls from Afghanistan ran across the grass in their saris along side the boys. On the playground the children from all the different pavilions commingled with a cacophony of languages, all reflecting the many different cultures that have come to live in the neighborhood near my school.
It was heart warming to watch all these families and different cultures celebrate the 4th of July as Americans.
Five or six years ago I received an email on the 4th of July from a parent who had been deported. The email wished me a Happy Freedom Day. Suddenly the day wasn't just about the barbecues, flags and fire works, but a reminder of the freedom we are truly lucky to have- a freedom people come from all over the world to experience.
Today's park was a true slice of Happy Freedom Day- not a day to celebrate all we think of as culturally American but a day to be thankful for the freedoms we have. Freedom to have many different groups of people from many different backgrounds all celebrating together peacefully in one small park.
I love America.