It’s the fourth of July today.
(first published on Medium, July 4th 2015)
So first of, a very Happy Fourth of July to all my American friends out there.
You may not know this already, but I’m Danish. Born and raised in Denmark. Took my University education, studying Economics at University College of London in England (1986–1991), moved to the States in 1991 or so (New Jersey) for a small year to trade futures (FOREX), but found it sensible to move back to Denmark to work for family business which I did till 1998 or 1999, while I also ran my first own business of Copenhagen Limousine Service (from November 1996) till I sold that in October 2010.
I moved to the United States again in the summer of 2008. For many years I had wanted to move abroad again and to seek broader perspectives and grow in mental capacity while charging forth with new ventures and a new life.
It’s a funny thing, but although I’m a Dane and although I find I actually usually become more patriotic when I live abroad, I also consider myself American. Not because I am American. But America is the country that I live in out of choice. I love America and I love Americans. I’m proud to be here and I wish to be able to provide value to the country and become an asset to the country.
In other words, I actually consider myself as patriotic about America as most Americans I know and I have met.
I get chills whenever I hear the National Anthem (what a beautiful song and what a great story behind it) and I will stand up and hold my hand over my heart when I do so.
I support America in conversations and discussion (not blindly, but when sensible discussions are abounds) and although I’m not blind to the negative or silly arguments that may come about, I’m truly considering the pros and cons of the country.
Every country and every nation has pros and cons. There’s good sentiments everywhere, just as you will find silly arguments and discussions everywhere.
But I have chosen the United States to be my home and I love it. Indeed this choice may not be forever, but I do doubt I will ever return to live in Denmark. Instead and if not in the US, I might just choose to seek new horizons some day and try yet another country. But that won’t be for just now. It’s not on my agenda, and I’m truly happy to be in the United States.
I plan to build a new venture here (alongside some of the ones I have already established and that I’m still trying to gain some real traction with).
America is the Land of Milk and Honey. No, it’s not easier here than in so many other countries. Building success and business anywhere comes with challenges. It’s just how it is. But I believe there are true opportunities everywhere for the enthusiastic entrepreneur that shows courage and brings lots of stamina and persistence. Those opportunities are outside of America, but certainly also present here in America.
Like I say, I’m patriotic about America. I fully conquer with the sentiments that was so beautifully and emotionally told in the film Born On The Fourth Of July: “Love It Or Leave It”.
As an ex-patriot I often meet other ex-patriot. Not just from Denmark, but from many other countries. Often when things get tough here, they will commence moaning and start their talk on things being better “back home”.
My response will invariably be: “Well, go back home then!”
Love it or Leave it.
If you don’t love it here, then nobody is holding you here, so just leave.
Of course, such are my thoughts too, when I hear about immigrants coming to my home country, Denmark, when they commence their complaining or whining.
If you don’t like it, then go home.
Otherwise, accept that there will be challenges. If you are unhappy about certain aspects or situations in your chosen country, well, then work at making them better. Who knows, perhaps you can actually bring some value and help improve things. Perhaps you can actually become an asset to your country (your new country) and your new fellow countrymen.
As I said, I moved to the United States in 2008. I met my wife here too. She isn’t born American, but is actually Polish. But she did become Nationalized a few years back and is now an American Citizen. Choosing a Polish girl or a non-American girl wasn’t a specific choice. I did so simply out of happenstance and love. It could equally have been an American girl, but just so happened, I landed with a wonderful Polish girl.
We have two children together. Both born in the United States, so in our little family we have a full international committee going on.
Having two American children only adds to my sensation of patriotism for America.
I feel I’m entitled to feel American and I’m proud of it too.
Don’t like it?
Well, that’s your problem. Sorry. I mean no offense, but that’s how I feel about it.
I’m proud of being here and I’m proud of this country as any good standing American citizen would be.
So when Fourth Of July comes around, I too will feel perhaps just a little more American and perhaps just a little more patriotic and a little more proud.
When I extend a Happy Fourth of July to others, I’m extending one as well to myself. I hope you are good with that.
My wife is very pro-peace. I’m of course pro peace to. Of course I do not like war or conflicts. However, I do feel sometimes there are no other course of actions that one can take.
No, this is not to say that I particularly support any one particular course of war or not. In truth, I do not wish to commence any political debate on the subject.
I have certain opinions, but I rather hold these for myself.
Let’s just say (and this is the point I wish to make), that I appreciate that I am free. I appreciate that I live in a free country.
Let’s just say, that I appreciate that I too am living in
The Home of The Free
Because of The Brave
So as we now have the Fourth of July, and as we celebrate the birthday of the United States, I do salute the men and women who has made it happen and made it possible and I salute those who still make it so. Thank you for your service.
I know there are people out there making sacrifices that means that I can sleep restful at night and trust in the safety of my family. Thank you for your sacrifices.
I appreciate you very, very much.
Happy Fourth of July everyone.