A couple of weeks ago, I was watching a cable news show and one of the guests said the world would be a better place today if the United States never existed. As a migrant to the United States from the Philippines, I strongly disagree with that statement and I’m not the only one. A recent Gallup poll showed that for the past 10 years, one in five potential migrants (21%)—or about 158 million adults worldwide—name the United States as their desired future residence. Canada, Germany, France, Australia and United Kingdom each appeal to only about 30 million adults.
My “American Dream” was to gain the possibility of a better life and the American way of life. This dream started at a very early age for me as I heard the World War II stories of my grandfathers who fought side by side with Americans. As a little girl, I observed how the American people helped my country after a major typhoon that flooded almost the entire province of Leyte. Who came to help us? I can still remember the bells ringing in the church bell tower, and everyone was running and in saying in unison, “Thank God, the Americans are here!” The United States was always the first to help not only the Philippines, but other countries whenever there was a need.
As I grew up, these experiences strengthened my American Dream.
The first time I recited the pledge of allegiance during the swearing in at my citizenship ceremony was sublime. There is something magical about the United States that only people who immigrated here can understand. America beckons you. It offers you the possibility of achieving the things you dream even if at times it seems quixotic. And it can be because America expects the best of you.
Despite all the criticism that we hear from different groups today, the USA is still the global leader in helping others inside this country and outside this country. For those who disagree with me, that’s alright, but my question to you is “Where is another place that would offer you the maximum potential of a better life?”. Or “What would life be like if you were not American?”
Recently, my husband and I were on a car trip and I was bored, so I started going through the thousands of songs on his iPhone. I came across something interesting, it was a spoken word recording from 1974. It was called “The Americans” and it was recorded by a Canadian Newspaper Reporter named Byron MacGregor.
MacGregor spoke about the United States as America the Beautiful played in the background.
Here are some of the lyrics:
“It’s time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on the face of the earth. When I first started to read newspapers, I read of floods on the Yellow River and the Yangtse. Who rushed in with men and money to help?
The Americans did.”
“They have helped control floods on the Nile, the Amazon, the Ganges and the Niger.
I can name you five thousand times when Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble.
Can you tell me one time someone else raced to help Americans in trouble?”
This recording peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1974 and sold over three million copies. What an inspiring recording!
This reminded me again of the person on cable news who said that the world would be a better place today if the United States never existed.
I thought hard about what he said and these questions came to mind:
If the United States had never existed, who would have stopped Hitler?
If the United States never existed who would have:
Invented the internet?
Invented the cell phone?
Put a man on the moon?
Built the Panama Canal?
Developed Trans-Oceanic Communication?
I could go on with this list for hours.
I believe with utmost certainty that the world is a better place because the United States exists!
I am proud to be an American and I will Thank God for that blessing, every single day of my life!
Happy Fourth of July everyone!