On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and were no longer part of the British Empire. The Congress actually voted to declare independence two days earlier, on July 2.
Today, as the Sun rose, I stepped out to display my Stars and Stripes. The Flag is raised, and I affirm my commitment and aspirations to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, not just for me and my family, but for all: All that have chosen to make this great country their adoptive home; and for those who welcomed me and adopted me as one of theirs in 1983.
I cannot imagine having lived my adult life anywhere else but this Land that is the United States of America. Even today, when I think back at my early 20's and the things I had done prior to that, in comparison to the wild and wonderful ride after I immigrated, there is no regret in my mind. Yes, I've always been a daring individual, but in the country of my birth and of my youth, I was bound and the opportunities were few.
If there is anything that I regret, is the transformation that my adoptive home went through, and how uninterested I was to this fact, for this will impact the lives of my offsprings.
As a teenager, I often visited my American side of the family. "What an unbelievable country it is" I thought every single time I stepped out of the airport en route to my aunt's house. And the one or two months I spent here were always tearing out of my eyes when was ready to board for the trip back.
No sooner I became an US Resident (legal), I became a very demanded employee, unlike my lackey years I endured in France. I don't know if it was due to the government system, the behavior of employers, or the abundance of opportunities. I retrospect, I would now say because of all three. Never in my employee life (early 80's) in France was I given a raise for being appreciated. I had to search for a better job to get a raise. In the US, raises came on their own, and often with an appreciation letter from my boss. Between 1983 and 1987, I tripled my earnings. This never happened in France, nor would it. And I know for a fact that of my friends with even a better experience and knowledge in the field and position, are still to this day lackeys of their employers. In the same field and position they cannot afford both: an apartment and a car. They often have to choose one or the other, that is for a single individual. Married couples do absolutely better in their life styles.
We talk about how some men in their 30's still live with their parents, here in the US, and view it negatively. But in France, it is a very common occurrence.
I am now a Senior living in the USA, and all I can say is Thank You America for the wonderful life you've let me have.
Liberty is such a wonderful thing.