That is what was ingrained into my very being from the time I was old enough to know what it meant and what it stood for. I was proud to be an American when my Dad went off to War in WW II, I was proud to be an America moreso my uncle went off to WW II.
I was even happier to be an American when they came home safely when others they knew and fought with did not and I heard the stories of them and how great it was to be an American and make the ultimate sacrifice for your country.
Korea, it was my time to go to War and I did so voluntarily. I believed in what an American was supposed to do and be. I was able to come home again safely, Proud once again to be an American.
I began thinking, is this what it is to be an American? Then my Brother went Airborne and the pride was revived. But there was a crack in my belief. Happily my brother came home safely with no more than a broken leg after Lord knows how many jumps and into places I have no idea where they are.
I got to thinking about being an American. I remembered being on a Greyhound coming home and there was another service man with me that I had served with. He happened to be black. This I had not paid a whole lot of attention to. You do not when you are depending on each other simply to stay alive.
In a huff she told me that she would not sit next to no nigra. I told her that that nigra had been fighting to give her the right to say what she wanted and she could Go To Hell before I 'd give her a seat. She stood for the rest of her trip, seems that the other passengers had food for thought in what I had said.
Then I began thinking as I began to get a more worldly education. Men of colour who I had served with and many like them were able to go off to war and fight for their country but were still not able to vote. I thought, Is this America?
Then my son went Airborne, He taught survival on the glaciers in Alaska and then went on to be a DI. He was not the same son that I knew when he went into service when he came home. He had problems getting himself together again.
I have seen people of all race and colour come to this country and work hard to learn our ways and customs to finally become an American. No doubt they are Proud To Be Americans. I have seen the children of these people go to school to learn then bring their knowledge home and teach their parents and grandparents in return.
I was so proud of our Constitution and The Bill Of Rights, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Then I find that somewhere along the line it was beginning to slowly slip away from us. It got to where you could get all the justice you wanted if you were willing to pay for it with but a few exceptions.
I saw a President enter the Whitehouse through the back door. I then saw the First Amendment Zones roped and fenced off. In MY America anywhere was a First Amendment Zone. What was happening? Why was nothing being said or done to right the wrong?
Then we saw program after program that helped the American people being thrown out, namely those helping the poor and elderly. Then you see monster tax cuts for the few percent of the richest in the country, you see factories and businesses leave the United States and go to where they can produce their goods for pennies on the dollar. Places like Mexico and China and Taiwan.