Hamburgers and Hot Dogs ... Or Maybe A Muffin Will Do

I'm sitting in a Starbucks eating a lemon poppy seed muffin while enjoying my grand mocha frappachino.

Sounds fairly normal for an American college student, right?

It is. Except I'm sitting in a Paris airport on the 4th of July.

That's right. No fireworks, no grilled hot dogs or hamburgers (though I do plan to have a bowl of Mac and cheese for dinner), no patriotic music. Instead I'm surrounded by French voices who may or may not know just what this holiday means to the petite American sitting a table away. Or even the part their country played in making it possible.

I promise that over the next few days I'll be posting about my trip with my parents. But today I want to just stop and enjoy this day, celebrate it.

Because today, I'm proud to be an American.

In spite of the downs and frustrations the past six months have presented, the ups of my six months in Europe have been amazing. I'm learning to enjoy the adventure.

I've also learned to appreciate the fact that I am a citizen of one of the world's greatest countries. And regardless of what we Americans may think or say, we are blessed beyond measure.

Some of the things I've learned to appreciate are small. Ice, air conditioning, and peanut butter.

Some of the things are big. I have the ability to go so many places fairly freely; many people I have met do not. I live in a country where as a women I have the opportunity to succeed at whatever I put my mind to. I am free to worship God at the place of my choosing without fear. I am free to choose where I live, work, play, eat, who my friends are, and how I live my life.

So with all the typical American style celebrations stripped away, I'm taking time to celebrate the meaning behind this holiday today. Differently, quietly. But it's still a celebration.

Because I've never been more proud to be an American.

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