I watched an old video of Hollywood stars (Liz Taylor and Gene Kelly) leading the singing of America the Beautiful back in 1976. My son, Andrew, walked up behind me, observed what I was watching and said, “‘Murica” in what sounded to me to be something of a mocking voice.
I asked him why he said that. He said, “I don’t know, but lots of kids at school say it.” I responded, “Don’t say that. Pronounce the name of your country correctly. Tell your friends I said that. Tell them your dad said that America may be the greatest nation that has ever existed.”
I have many friends who will disagree with what I told Andrew. They view our country as hopelessly racist, materialistic, jingoistic, and oppressive. I acknowledge the flaws, though I would offer a defense against the more extreme charges and narratives. Nevertheless, I am grateful every day that I was born in this country. Of all the blessings I possess, I never underrate that one.
Update: There’s something I feel the need to add. Whatever you might think about the United States of America, I think it is hard to get around the high probability that the U.S. was the key factor in preserving free government in a 20th century where communism and other forms of totalitarianism were aggressive and rising. We can all be grateful for that, too.