Happy Birthday, America!

(Re-sharing July 4th, 2014 Facebook post on Independence Day.)
My family immigrated to the United States from Hong Kong one year after witnessing Tiananmen Square. Being American to me means having the right to protest, to say plainly ‘This is shitty’ when we see something is shitty, to be empowered by our tradition when we declared ourselves free and equal to question authority when we see abuses, and then to do something to correct those injustices. To me, being American means learning English, reading Dr. Seuss, learning how to play violin, piano, ride a bike and SING!, DOING stuff, acting and writing theatre, celebrating creativity, passion, VOTING!, endless forests of tall green trees and wildlife, clean air and clear waters. Being American is independence and freedom of mind and heart.  And that, my friends, is beautiful. Happy Birthday America, I’m so grateful you were born.
Goddess of Democracy Statue at Tiananmen Square Protest Beijing 1989

Goddess of Democracy Statue at Tiananmen Square Protest, Beijing 1989

Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island New York

Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, New York