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Time to Give Thanks For Who and What We Are

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Wednesday, 23 Nov 2016 11:21 AM Current | Bio | Archive

For the three weeks prior to the U.S. election of 2016, this author found himself overseas on several continents. It was a breath of fresh air being so far removed from the campaign vitriol.

Yet, it would have been naïve to think that one could escape American politics. From off-the-grid Greek islands, to remote Croatian villages still rebuilding from war. From an isolated kibbutz near the Sea of Galilee to a “Stars and Bucks” café in the future Palestinian state (apparently, Starbucks hasn’t quite made it there yet), the only subject locals wanted to discuss was the next American president.

That’s the magic of travel, it often takes going far away to put the things right in front of us in proper perspective.

Experiencing the foreign interest in our election drove home the point that America still means so much to the world. And for good reason. If not for the incalculable blood and treasure the U.S. expended defending freedom, much of Europe and Asia would still be in rubble — its citizens living under tyranny.

It’s easy to get caught up in our viewpoints, falling victim to negativity while losing sight of all the things we do right. Rather than allowing our holiday to be marred by political arguments, let’s give thanks for living in history’s most benevolent nation.

America’s past is not without its faults.

From slavery to internment camps, from mistreating Native Americans to supporting brutal foreign leaders, our country has made mistakes.

But America is a nation that uniquely conquers its demons, exorcising them to rectify our failings, to make things better — to make things right.

That liberalism (small “l”) has not gone unnoticed around the world. America has always been a beacon of hope for millions craving freedom, tolerance — and a fresh start.

When the Irish suffered during the potato famine, they didn’t head east to Europe, but rather to the distant shores of America. In the aftermath of the Vietnam War, countless Southeast Asians, including many who fought against us, sought refuge in America.

Millions fleeing persecution from tyrants, including Mideast refugees, risk everything to make America their home.

And why?

Because America offers even the poorest and most downtrodden the opportunity to carve out not just an existence, but a better standard of living that most would ever dare dream of.

America remains the rock star of the ages, with billions around the world craving our blue jeans, Coca-Cola, our music, and our movies. But infinitely more, they want to emulate what we stand for — the pioneering, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps, nothing-is-impossible spirit uniquely defining us.

Upon Japan’s surrender in World War II, many Japanese soldiers feared what their American captors might do to them. And the Americans did plenty.

They accorded the exact same medical treatment to the Japanese as to their own soldiers; openly shared cigarettes with their prisoners (something that Japan prohibited when the tables had been turned); fed them the same food that the Americans received.

Despite many wartime atrocities committed by the Japanese, America treated its vanquished foe with unprecedented restraint. Most telling, during the surrender ceremony on Missouri, the Japanese officers were absolutely mystified as to how much dignity the Americans allowed them to maintain.

It is exactly that kind of benevolence — doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do, with no strings attached — that still carries the day and earns the admiration of the world.

Throughout most of history, victors enslaved their conquered peoples, laying waste to their lands. Yet America has always done the opposite, pouring untold billions into Japan, Germany, Italy (and later) Southeast Asia and the Mideast.

Unlike most countries, America, for the most part, has left the nations with which it warred better off than when it found them.

And when famines and disasters strike, it is always America that is first in.

“Doing the right thing” was never more clear than after the most powerful typhoon on record smashed the Philippines just a few years ago, leaving thousands dead and millions homeless. America immediately sent millions in money, manpower, and aid; opened airports; rebuilt roads; and sent an aircraft carrier to coordinate rescue, relief, and reconstruction operations.

China sent $100,000. That was the incomprehensibly meager contribution from the world’s second largest economy to its neighbor. Even after it was shamed into donating more, China still lagged behind (ready for this?) IKEA.

God bless America.

This Thanksgiving, let’s be thankful for who we are. 

Let’s be proud of our peaceful transitions of power. And please, say a prayer, to whomever your God may be, that America’s beacon is always lit.

Because as the world knows, God help us all if we fall. Cheers to America!

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.

 

 


 

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Freind
America still means so much to the world, and for good reason. If not for the incalculable blood and treasure the U.S. expended defending freedom, much of Europe and Asia would still be in rubble, its citizens living under tyranny.
asia, overseas
814
2016-21-23
Wednesday, 23 Nov 2016 11:21 AM
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