I have always felt blessed to have been born an American, and to be a beneficiary of the best this great country has to offer – beautiful landscapes, decent public schools, a diverse population, the ability to travel the world, and seemingly endless educational and employment opportunities. I realize, of course, that not everyone is able to enjoy these advantages, and to some, America is a very difficult place to live. At the moment, there are a lot of things that embarrass me about America (our complete failure to control guns or corporate lobbying, our presumptive Republican presidential nominee, our hypocrisy on racial and human rights issues, our culture of fear, …). Still, while I can find things to admire in every country I have ever visited, I remain very patriotic about my home. Similarly, I daydream about living overseas, but I wonder if I am willing to give up all that I have here, particularly in our nation’s capital. Today, after watching a joyful local parade surrounded by my children and their friends, and a boisterous block party with my eclectic mix of neighbors, I am very grateful to be an American.