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09 Jul '15

July 4th in Redwood City

Posted by Lanchi Vo

I was at the July 4th Celebration in Redwood City. It was a one-day art and craft show, in conjunction with the parade and some other celebratory events. This year, my booth was at the end of the line.
The artist next to me did not showed up, so I have a corner space for the price of in-line, and an un-impeded view of the parade right there at the cross street only a few feet away. How lucky!

So, I was sitting at my booth, looking at the jittering crowd, waiting for things to happen. As we all stand for the pledge of allegiance and the national anthem- sung acapella over the loud speaker- a strange feeling washed over me. Sure, I always get teary listening to anthem, always moved by acapella singing, but there was also a realization that this America is what my children will call home.

This America is my Home.

As a transplanted Vietnamese, I don't feel at home any where, not here, not there. I have been happily floating around, like duckweed, with roots, but no attachment. This duckweed was momentarily snagged on a river bank here at Redwood City, watching a stream of people floating by, celebrating the birth of a nation. The parade went on, an endless succession of organizations, services, volunteers, charities, interest groups... forces that defense, protect, maintain and operate this society.

I watched as people from many different background-some wearing their national attire-marching by with the American flags held high. Where else on earth can a hodgepodge of people get together and
create such a powerful nation? Sure, this country has it's own problems, internal, external, some chronic, some acute...but it is still a land of hope and dream... and freedom within boundaries.

This is the land that I exhale and relax after coming back from overseas travels.
This is the land that I feel grateful to be part of, knowing the alternatives.

Heh, is that what a home supposed to feel like? I suddenly felt glad and proud to be right there, right then.  I was no longer watching.  I was celebrating.

Happy birthday, America!


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