It’s the fourth of July and I feel like celebrating America today, not because I want to celebrate America so much as I want to celebrate my America — that is to say the reasons why the United States hold a special place in my heart. If you’re one of my American friends then read on, because this has something to do with you!

Unfortunately I won’t be making my usual summer trip to the States this year, and today I am reminded of how much I enjoy being there and how much I’m missing it right now.

I love America, I think I have loved America since I was a young boy watching CHiPs on TV and dreaming of becoming a California Highway Patrol motorcycle cop. Anytime I’m in a plane that touches down in the States I feel like I’ve come home. Whenever I leave America I long to return, and while I might not love the political swagger and arrogance of the country those things don’t alter the deep connection I have with the ‘land of the free.’

I’m lucky enough to know a great deal of truly wonderful Americans, some of whom I count among my closest friends. They have opened their homes to me, shared their lives with me, allowing me to experience America on a deeply personal level far outside of the bounds of any tourist book.

My America consists of the people who populate it, that is to say the people whom I know. From the winding roads of Boston’s North Shores, to the awesome landscape of the Pacific Northwest, throughout California, Texas and into the deep south, I am lucky enough to know people from very different parts of the country, all of whom have added color not only to their country, but also to me.

So today, as my American friends celebrate Independence day, perhaps you will forgive me this moment where I celebrate them; their friendship, their generosity, their diversity, and the continuing contribution they make in the life of their far away friend, me.

I didn’t get doubles
July 4th
Old Glory
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