BUILD IT. PROTECT IT. PRESERVE IT.
engine when all they wanted was a faster horse. Now everyone drives cars. That’s the American spirit — we’re not consigned to merely following the rules. We have the power to shape and change them. That’s the country I want my daughter to know she’s growing up in. It’s not just Americans who know that the United States is the greatest country in the world. Several years ago, I took a trip to Rio de Janiero, Brazil, for martial arts training. There was a man giving tours of the Favelas,
THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY
Brazil’s crime-ridden slums, and I struck up a conversation with the tour guide. He told me his personal mission was to get to America. He said that if he could get there, he could make it. Immigrants
Early in July, my family packs two big celebrations into one. The first is my daughter Kyzlee’s birthday on July 3. To celebrate, my wife and I are planning on taking her to a few different zoos in the area. She’s developed a fascination with animals, and we want to nurture that interest. We’ve already taken her to the Pittsburgh and Oglebay Zoos, and this summer we want to take her to the zoos in Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. The next celebration, obviously, is the Fourth of July. Every year on Independence Day, I’m reminded of how great America is and how fortunate my wife and I are to raise our daughter here. With hard work and determination, Americans from all socioeconomic backgrounds can garner tools to succeed and live the life they want to live. Those lines of the Declaration of Independence still ring true: In America, we truly have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. When I observe the economic landscape of the United States, I see things that I wouldn’t have thought possible just a decade or two ago. Companies like Airbnb, Uber, and Amazon built massive, multimillion- dollar, or even multibillion-dollar, industries without any sort of property to begin with. That would have been unthinkable 100 years ago, or even 20 years ago. Innovation and adaptation are essential elements of the American way, and they have been since the country’s inception. Henry Ford gave people the V8 REMEMBERING HOW LUCKY WE ARE IN AMERICA
move to this country every day, and thousands of people walk hundreds of miles just to make it to our border. Sometimes it’s the people who weren’t born here, or don’t even live here, who understand just how incredible America is. There are many people who were born in the United States who can’t appreciate the
opportunities they have enough to pick themselves up off the couch. We shouldn’t be people who wait around to have opportunities handed to us on a silver platter. We have the privilege of taking the opportunity for ourselves.
The Fourth of July and Kyzlee’s birthday go hand in hand. I get to spend time with her and reflect on how lucky she is to be growing up in America. One day, I hope she understands how lucky she is, too. When the fireworks light up the night sky on the Fourth, I always tell her it’s because the whole world is celebrating her birthday. In a way, that’s true — they’re celebrating the opportunities that she’ll have for years to come.
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