Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Independence Day

Dear America,

I'm not sure if "dear" is the right word, actually. In fact, I'm not sure I even want to be talking to you. Today I almost wish I were somplace else, someplace I didn't have to look at this holiday. A day when we celebrate the beginning of a war, when we eat meaty foods and gather in obese sweating herds to listen to bad music and watch beautiful lights in the sky and say we love our country.

I used to love riding into Philadelphia and seeing your gleaming prismatic towers. I was proud that this was my city. I don't feel proud anymore, knowing how many destitute live here. In Copenhagen even the homeless had healthcare, and people lived with trust that the country was there for them. Americans don't live with that trust. I used to be proud that at least our nation was a beacon of some sort of democracy and well-being, even if an imperfect one. Now I wonder why we've twisted all we had going for us into a beacon of what's grabbing, wasteful, and blind. I'm wondering why on this day there's no mention of the economies and peoples we hold in sway as surely as any redcoat ever held a musket to a colonist's back. It makes me feel sad and sick to be an American today.

But much as I want to not belong to you, this wouldn't all hurt so much if I didn't. There's no point in going away because wherever I am, you are in my blood, in my skin, on the tip of my tongue. Your mountains and cities are my home, your heartbeat my music, your people my people.

For better or for worse, your daughter

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