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Friday, July 4, 2014

Dear America, happy birthday! Here's an idea - you're it :)


Eleven years ago - today - I woke up as an American citizen for the first time.

I was born in the land of the Leprechauns, so when I opened my front door and saw this last June, I laughed.

I knew it. There is treasure at the end of the rainbow :)

And that treasure is America.

In 2004, Bono, he of the Irish group, U2, gave the Commencement Address at the University of Pennsylvania and while there, he said something that I think is wonderful.

America isn't just a country - it's an idea.

Some the highlights of his speech include:

·         It's not everywhere in fashion these days, Americanism. Not very big in Europe, truth be told. No less on Ivy League college campuses. But it all depends on your definition of Americanism.

·         Me, I'm in love with this country called America. I'm a huge fan of America, I'm one of those annoying fans, you know the ones that read the CD notes and follow you into bathrooms and ask you all kinds of annoying questions about why you didn't live up to that...

·         I'm that kind of fan. I read the Declaration of Independence and I've read the Constitution of the United States, and they are some liner notes, dude. As I said yesterday I made my pilgrimage to Independence Hall, and I love America because America is not just a country, it's an idea.

·         America is an idea, but it's an idea that brings with it some baggage, like power brings responsibility. It's an idea that brings with it equality, but equality even though it's the highest calling, is the hardest to reach. The idea that anything is possible, that's one of the reasons why I'm a fan of America. It's like hey, look there's the moon up there, lets take a walk on it, bring back a piece of it. That's the kind of America that I'm a fan of.
(Me, too:)

Happy Fourth of July to all who celebrate America's birthday, and if you live over the pond - or elsewhere - have a great Thursday, too :)


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And if Bono of the Irish group U2 can love Americanism that much, how much more should those of us here love it?
Happy Fourth and eleven years a citizen, Mark!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

America is better because of people like you, Mark. Glad you're one of us. I wish everyone could feel as Bono does.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Bono rocks even more now. America being more than a country is a lovely ideal. Congrats on your American citizenship Mark and Happy 4th of July. Also hurray to the country where you were born. Helped made you the man you are today.

Tony Laplume said...

Fan of the country and Bono. :)

quietspirit said...

Mark: I believe there has been a reawakening of patriotism since 9/11. In our part of town, a lot of the businesses have the stars and stripes (small versions) in front of their businesses at the curb. I had to make a hospital visit down the street this afternoon. The curbside of the hospital property had the full sized American flags across the front of the parking lot.(The exchange club had placed them there.)

Meradeth Houston said...

Hope you had a great weekend and 4th!! Great quotes, too. Gotta love Bono :)

Anonymous said...

Geez, Bono. Now I need to go read it! lol We take a lot for granted here. ^v^'

Happy (belated) 4th of July!

LD Masterson said...

Thanks to Bono for those nice words and to you for sharing them.

Morgan said...

Mark, you are hands down one of my most favorite people on the planet. PLANET. And I'm sort of in Koop withdrawals, so we need to be friends again. :)

This was so beautiful. If we could all appreciate the gift of living here. You're an inspiration, my friend.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I have always loved Bono. And he's right and it makes me sad. Some of our biggest haters are home grown. No, America isn't perfect, but we're still pretty darned awesome!

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