Today, sadly, we hear so many negative things about our country ‘tis of thee! These United States are a magical tapestry that was woven over the centuries by extraordinary people from all over the world! My family, for instance, fled Italy as baggage in the bottom of a boat in the late 1800s to get here. The greatest sense of pride they ever felt was when they were sworn in as citizens.

This country is so great that my ancestors not only embraced American culture and values but within one generation they returned to their native land in Italy with RIFLES in the service of their new country’s military. Could you imagine? I often marvel at the resolve and strength of my family. However when I think deeper about how our Founding Fathers literally threw off the yoke of the greatest world power ever known at the time, Great Britain, when they themselves were British citizens of the crown, it humbles me to my core. They sacrificed it all for the dream of Liberty enshrined in inalienable rights brought forth by God. Their virtue and immense strength sustains us as a nation even to this day. Their fortitude and wisdom still guides. Before we allow anyone to disrespect our history, our founders, our customs and our culture in the least, pose this question to them, “Where would the world be today without the US of A?”

This is our home, and our fore fathers were great men of vision and understanding. While all of mankind is always in a state of imperfection, we here in America, blemishes and all, have brought forth on this continent a new nation, one created under God, one that is indivisible and one that values truth and justice above the darkness of the feudal systems that existed before us and still exist to this day. Not only is it a distinct honor and privilege to be New Yorkers, but even more so to be Americans! Many brave and good souls laid down their lives and watered the tree of liberty with their blood so that we should live here under the blanket of freedom and prosperity that is unique to our American experiment. It is my wish that we will become more united through the pillars of our heritage and live free forever here in the land of the free and the home of the brave!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our families, friends and neighbors a truly happy and blessed Independence Day.

**The views expressed in this column represent only those of the author and not the board or membership of the Juniper Park Civic Association.