I pose this question to everyone, not just my fellow Americans celebrating our Independence Day. I've grown up with a love of country. My parents taught me from an early age to be grateful for having been born in a place where I'm not persecuted for my religion or lifestyle. Many members of my family have been and currently are in the military. I am so grateful to live in a country where I can feel relatively safe and raise my family. I still get a lump in my throat every time I hear the star spangled banner, say the pledge of allegiance, and hear Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA". I'm grateful to have been born here, and I love our country, with all of her flaws and loveliness. I've known people from other countries who did not always have clean drinking water, and that is just one of the basic things I know it is easy to take for granted. I could obviously write so much more. So thank you to all of our military, our government and all of the passionate people who make up this place I call home.
for me New Zealand means.....wide & open, full of nature, plants and wildlife....an exciting place to go and visit..... nuclear free.....full of places to go and not be crowded....free choice (though sadly not in some areas)
i am proud to live in a country where we are represent 2 cultures.....Maori and Nzers....and we live in a place where getting to know that language...and culture.....is a part of our curriculum!!
i love that i have travelled to nearly ALL of my country....and then i started travelling overseas!!!
only thing that annoys me is....it takes FOREVER to get anything over this side of the world...and it cost a fortune to ship it!!! grrrrrrrrrrr
happy 4th of July US Ladies
Im not sure how to answer this as im a UK'er living in NZ
but, i will say i LOVE living in NZ, i love the freedom my daughter has that she did not have in the UK, it has less crime, less trouble. more space, warm climate most of the year. beautiful friendly people who have welcomed me as family. Fabulous local schools that i just love Lucy being apart of, My daughter is 5 and can speak Maori already.
Like Mandy i LOVE that it is nuclear free, the air is so clear, I had a friend here who could not believe the cleanliness of this country, no chewing gum on the street or litter. the endless blue skies, i didn't understand what that meant until we moved here. The fact that it is winter, raining etc and it still has perfect blue skies. The best coffees and Hot chocolates you will ever drink, Aoli,
I do however hate how far it is from every where, i am a 5 hour drive to an international airport. I hate the shopping, clothes are not nice here, or maybe they are but im used to UK and USA clothes , we are charged a fortune for said not so nice clothes, everything is so expensive (saying that Kiwi's i don't think notice that , i only do as im not one) all of that though is nothing compared to the joy and thankfulness i feel each and every day for being allowed to live in this amazing beautiful country
LOVE NZ :)
I've always wanted to visit New Zealand. Maybe one day I will get to go!
What does Canada mean to me? Great question! It's hard to put into words. A place where democracy is number one, where we can all express our opinions, hopes and dreams without persecution, a place where one can practice any religious or political belief in freedom. A beautiful and vast country that makes for one great playground. I love our standard of living and cleanliness, I love the unity, I love the health care (albeit not perfect), I love our close proximity to our friends to the South and I am extremely EXTREMELY proud of our military's contributions in Afghanistan and around the world.
It has its flaws too, like anywhere - but I couldn't be prouder!
Peaceful, beautiful, and amazing. I am like you as well Amy when it comes to singing the national anthem. I cannot sing it through without choking up-ever. sheesh. It has gotten worse as I've grown older too, haha.
I could not be prouder to call Canada my "home and native land."
In Sweden we do not have a tradition of talking about being proud of our country. Neither do we celebrate what we call our National Day much. We have never been occupied by another country or persecuted by anyone for any reason. We haven't been at war for more than 200 years. So we take our country and freedom for granted. If I should try to think of a few things that I love about my country, I will put the feeling of security first. We have no natural disasters, no enemies, very low crime, very low corruption, free schools and healthcare for every citizen, safetynets for the sick and unemployed. I also love our changing seasons, bright summer nights, clean environment and fascinating history.
Canada and Sweden are on my 'bucket list' to visit also. @Magdalena, one thing my Swedish friend loved about her country was the pretty bright greens of the foliage....unlike here where at the end of summer everything is a darker green and kind of tired looking, she said the trees and such looked like 'spring green' all summer...must be beautiful.
i have dual citizenship of Great Britain and Australia and they mean different things to me. I was naturalized as a British citizen in 2005 and it was a proud moment. I have complete allegiance to the Queen and still vote even though I am no longer living there. My husband is British and my daughter was born in the UK so I feel a tremendous gratitude and fondness for GB.
But when it comes down to it my loyalty is definitely to Australia. I love being Australian, it is a great country filled with wonderful, creative, down to earth people. I love the fact that we have an awesome education system, a universal healthcare system and social security provisions for everyone if they are sick or unemployed. There is not much crime and the cost of living is reasonably low (it has become more $$$ recently but still cheaper than London!). It is a great place to raise children - I am a SAHM here and that WOULD NEVER have been a possibility in London. Society here is much more egalitarian than in the UK. In my street people of all shapes, sizes, colours, religions and means. My DH is a chartered accountant, but one of our neighbours runs a fruit and vegetable shop but we all live together in the same area. It brings lots of variety and colour to our lives. Its such a melting pot of cultures too. We have so many immigrants that everyone has a story or a point of difference. This means we also have excellent food!
The people are amazing - I think community is still important here. Six years ago we decided to sell up our life in London and move to Melbourne (back to melbourne for me) and not once have we regretted it. OK there have been a few times when its been 110F for a week that we've questioned it but thats only a few times in six years!
I often talk with my college students about Tocqueville, who traveled through America in the 1800s and wrote about how Americans joined groups to solve problems. I think that America still is generally that way--the groups are the connections that knit us together as neighbors and citizens. The media and pundits overemphasize our polarization, incivility, and the "ugly" American. We still have a lot of social capital--in my small community, you see it at PTA meetings, youth soccer, scouting events, local political meetings, school board events. Our differences in opinion don't seem so significant when we're talking to neighbors. Today's 4th of July parade, with veterans, farmers, students, politicians, and representatives from all sorts of local groups marching, reminded me how important it is to be engaged and active in our communities.
@Melinda, I could not have stated it any better. Thank you.