Independance Day Abroad

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Today in Switzerland it is just another rain soaked Thursday. Spartacus is working and Boo (new name coming soon) is at school.  My balcony is blooming beautifully and all decked out for the holiday! Tonight at 6pm we will gather with some fellow American X pats to celebrate our Independence Day and certainly stir up some nostalgic memories of hot summer days, BBQ’s, family, big firework shows, even small firework shows. I will bring along something written by Thomas Paine and we will all wish we were at home with our countrymen. It feels very strange for Americans abroad to be away on the 4th. Kinda like Thanksgiving and Christmas, you wish you could be close to family, but more than that- being American is the very thing that sets us apart here. It is the very thing that can cause us to struggle and feel separated. On this day we are more proud and grateful than ever to be from the United States. We remember the cost of that revolution and the people who have served to preserve our great nation. I find my self considering what makes me miss it and love it and my hopes that our country can remain a beacon for all the world.

Annie Valentine and Me

Annie Valentine and Me

About a month ago we were invited by my dear friend Annie Valentine to visit their family in Germany. Her husband Jason is stationed at an AFB in Germany. I was so grateful for the chance we had to go on base and feel a little closer to home. We visited American restaurant (and a Mexican one too, but isn’t that REALLY American food?) and were surrounded by American accents and at the last minute decided to go along to a dance recital for one of the kids.

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The theme was America and I spent 2 hours clapping and crying my way through patriotic songs, costumes, graceful, funky, fantastic and sometimes awkward little dance numbers preformed by the children of our soldiers serving abroad. These kids put on a fantastic salute to our Great Nation. If I had been sitting in a regular auditorium at home I probably would have teared up, but to know that these boys and girls were part of the families that work to protect us everyday made it that much more impactful. They had mothers and Fathers who live and die to protect them and US. Some of them had parents who were missing from the audience, who were away on the front lines of our foreign conflicts. As I watched the audience cheer after each number I could see that for them this was also more than just a end-of-year dance recital. I could tell how everyday they needed to be reminded and probably thanked for the job they do and for the greatness of our country. I knew that these kids needed to constantly be reminded of the benevolence of their sacrifice and the greatness of the cause. I was so grateful for that reminder my self. I Love America. For it’s virtuous idealism, for it’s humble beginnings based on Freedom and democracy. For the vastness, and the beauty and the prosperity of our nation. I am grateful that our country can cultivate talent, and inspire innovation, recognize genius. I pray that this intangible brilliance will be our greatest resource and pray for our leadership to be principled enough use it wisely. Thank you June for inviting us to come and watch the good ship lollipop sail across America and anchor an important message into my heart!

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June – Diva extraordinaire

Today I will be thinking of all of you, and of our forefathers who in their struggle, imagined a governance of democracy and who fought to create it so that we could enjoy the freedoms and liberties they believed every man is entitled to.

“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated”
Thomas Paine, The Crisis