Is the USA Worth Being Proud of this Fourth of July?

With so much to be ashamed of in the news lately, I think it’s important to remember: we have lots of be proud of here, too.

The USA’s nature is second to none; it is well-taken care of, respected, preserved, and enjoyed.

It’s important to recognize the pitfalls of history, and accept that this land doesn’t belong to us. (Especially important with the recent happenings on our southern border). Nonetheless, I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity to have communed with this land, learned from it, and grown up in it.

Thanks, America.

We all seek our communities, and for me, the community I have found the most welcoming, here in the US, has been the outdoors community. The climbers, skiers, anglers and dirtbags that make the West – all of the West – their home.

Now, I live in New York, and I miss these experiences greatly.

This is my America.

Tell me about yours. (in the comments)

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Trekking into the unknown, Rocky Mountain National Park

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The Flatirons, Boulder, Colorado. Minutes from town.

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Miguel’s Pizza, the Red River Gorge, Kentucky. Founded by a Portugese immigrant. Now, a community institution, and one of the cooler places I’ve ever been. This is America.

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Mountaineering on Long’s Peak — Colorado’s most famous mountain. Learning, loving, and playing in nature — not an office. You will never find friendlier people than on a trail in Colorado.

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Mere hours before this photo, we met a racist Trump supporter in a side-of-the-road trading post. His support of Hungary’s authoritarian government made Dóra, a liberal Hungarian, quite uncomfortable. Yet, as you can see: Moab convinced her there is something of value here.

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This site was sacred to the native Americans. Still is, as the native Americans still exist, on the fringes of our society. Today, it’s a roadside attraction. Little more than a popular Instagram spot. I wish the road didn’t go by it.

 

Snowboarding Arapahoe Basin Colorado

It’s a rich person’s sport. But even with the gentrification, I’m happy for anything that gets people outside, into the fresh air; a reminder of our basic essence.

Camping Adventures Near Seattle

 You don’t have to be a badass skier, climber, or outdoorsman to enjoy the bounties of this country: you just have to be willing to drive a little bit. I hate car culture in the US, but if it’s good fot one thing, it’s this. You have no excuse for not accessing this land. There is so much. And if you’re gonna be a SENSITIVE BITCH about letting other people in, the least you oculd do is take advantage 🙂

Trump Building Upper West Side

Our ancestors have built some things to be proud of, too.

Vail smokeshack

But I’ll always, always be a fan of doing things yourself. No matter how small the project.

To answer my own question: yes, America is worth being proud of.

This land is incredible. The people who live on it, for the most part, are welcoming and ingenious. The experiences you can have here are unique, wonderful, and worthwhile.

The USA? As a geopolitical actor?

Let’s just say I’m not sure I’ll be in New York forever.

Best,

Dan

 

 

 

 

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14 thoughts on “Is the USA Worth Being Proud of this Fourth of July?

  1. I live in Rogers Park, a neighborhood on the north side of Chicago. I think of Rogers Park as the perfect American city neighborhood: age and economic diversity, and a home to many religions. 82 languages are spoken here. We have a visible LBGTQ community. The beach is a five minute walk from my apartment and there are many parks (including a secret nature reserve). My immediate neighbors are immigrants and the refugee population here is high. I can’t think of any possible harm my neighbors could cause me and this xenophobic hate mongering that is spewing out of the current presidential administration is stupid and doesn’t square a tiny bit with my lived experience. I hope all Americans will get out to vote in the mid terms to stand up to this bs.

  2. I love the country from what I have seen (which really isn’t much at all) and I love the southern hospitality. I was an exchange student in Texas and stayed with the most wonderful people. They took a stranger in and welcomed me as part of their family.
    But I’ve seen just as many others who left me shaking my head in disbelief.
    I do want to come back eventually to explore the country and visit my host family and friends but that won’t be until some things change – politically and socially.

    Still hope everyone had a great 4th of July. We even had a 4th of July party with fireworks in Wiesbaden (Germany) as that’s where one of the bigger American bases is located.

  3. I’m afraid that America’s nature is also under attack by the current administration that does not share your love for outdoor spaces unless those spaces are golf courses. I hope the situation can be altered before there is irreparable damage.
    Regardless, Happy 4th! There are many wonderful things about this country, l agree.

    • I agree, the short-sighted actions of our current EPA and Department of the INterior disappoint me immensely.

      Reductions to Bears Ears, a special place for climbers and the native tribes, are sad starting points; I hope things do not get any worse. I can’t say I am optimistic, though, where there are business interests. Unfortunately, I think there is significant money to be made, too.

      Shareholder value, while intoxicating, is short-term. These places are (should be) timeless. The natives worshipped the land. We should too.

      It is what it is.

  4. I will briefly say that I wish those elected and appointed to government (from both parties, but especially the president’s party), along with our citizenry, would read both the post you wrote today and the Constitution including the Bill of Rights. It seems like enough of this country, especially the government, needs a good reminder of what America is and isn’t (along with a kick in the ass). Thanks for the post.

  5. My America is a Southern America: a glass of sweet tea and a Mardi Gras parade. Some Cajun food and friendly folks! I’m currently looking to move to Colorado or Washington, so soon “my America” will change! Because sometimes, well, things can be a little too slow here! Keep up the adventures! Happy 4th, and may everyone put aside their differences to celebrate the USA!

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