The "Star-Spangled Banner" sung at ballgames does it to me. Seeing young adults holding hands and praying at "See You at the Pole" in front of their schools does it. Hearing the Pledge of Allegiance echo in school hallways always does it to me. My red, white and blue heart nearly bursts with pride when I see or hear the heartbeat of our nation.
What's right about America is driving to work in the pre-dawn hours and seeing the long line of headlights behind me. People going to work because it's the right thing to do. What's right about America is that most people still have a say in the work they do, based on their interests, their education, their personal needs, not the stoic needs of an unfeeling government.
What's right about America is knowing that even if I find some content offensive on social media, there are men and women who are willing to give the "last full measure of devotion" (Abraham Lincoln) in order to protect our right to freedom of speech.
There's so much right about America that sometimes we forget that we are blessed to live in the greatest nation in the world. We're a country of many colors, faiths, and flaws, but when push comes to shove, we're "one nation under God" (Francis Bellamy).
What's right about America isn't rock stars, or flashy cars. It isn't outrageously paid athletes or actors. What's right about America is rights and opportunities and motivation to follow your own dreams, not a path chosen and forced upon you.
What's right about America is that we're still working on equality and equity. We haven't given up because we're trying to remember each child is a blessing and a promise. What's right about America is that we're still moving forward to make sure each child has the opportunity to dream and strive toward that dream.
There's so much more that's right about America. I wonder what would happen if we focused more on what's right about America, and a little less on what's wrong. What's right about America is that we're not perfect, but we're not giving up. We'll never be a perfect nation, but we may be the best one this side of heaven.
9/11 changed many lives forever. My prayer for our country is that the willing and unwilling sacrifices made that day will not be vain. Perhaps our rallying cry should "Remember the Towers!", not for what we lost, but for what we have.