I remember growing up in third world conditions. We had outhouses, used chamber pots at nights that my mom cleaned every morning. We washed laundry by hand even when the temperature was below zero. I remember how cold and red my hands would get as I helped my mom with the washing. We had no refrigerators and no stoves. We cooked our food over huge chunks of coal and washed our dishes with the cleanest sand we could find. I remember how excited we would get if we saw cars driving by because they were such rare sights in the country. I used to jump on to the back of horse drawn carts and catch a ride for a few miles and no one ever complained.

I remember our family of six cutting up a single banana so we could all have a taste. It was such a different world. Immigrating to America and seeing all the wonders of modern civilization, tasting all kinds of exotic foods, the abundance of life…I was overwhelmed and amazed that such a lifestyle existed. I fell in love with America. Things weren’t always easy and the backlash against the influx of immigrants was strong in the east coast. I grew up with an inferiority complex due to being Asian in America that took decades to heal from. Nevertheless, I loved and still love this nation. I’ve been to Asia and Africa and the islands. There is no place like the USA.

I pray for this land. I celebrate this land. I have four children born on this land. This country raised me, taught me, embraced me. No country is perfect. But, for me, this one comes pretty darn close. We are a blessed nation. And we will continue to be a blessed nation. I love that we say God bless America! In God we trust! Happy freedom day! Happy Fourth of July!!!