“Why we LOVE the U.S.” Part II

My husband and I love the U.S. of A. for patently usual reasons. We both have lived in other countries so we have something to compare America to.  Of course, I believe all people should love their motherland, it is a good and proper thing to do.  If one doesn’t love their own country, to me, it is like not loving your own parents.  It was appropriate to have a gathering at the American embassy in Astana on July Fourth to celebrate our uniquely annual event each summer.  The ambassador, embassy staff, assorted guests and Peace Corps volunteers were in attendance. I would hope they all love our country as much as my husband and I do.

Regrettably there are Americans who think it is in vogue to dishonor our country and its flag. They do NOT love America, yet that is their citizenship.  Where else would they rather live? By hating their own country so, they are belittling the ultimate sacrifices made by others we so can enjoy our freedoms.  Many of these America-deprecating people are found in academia. They go “ho-hum” to Fourth of July events. They may take a break from their usual ivory tower activities or at the very worst continue to write untruths that they eventually feed to unsuspecting and vulnerable young Americans and foreign students who fill their classroom chairs.

Yes, it is no surprise to me that there are many unpatriotic professors who do not tear up when they hear the National anthem.  They don’t even put their hand to their heart or pretend to mouth the words.  I am wondering if they have even read the time-honored Declaration of Independence?  It makes for a worthy annual read, which I should do now.

But first, I appreciate President Ronald Reagan’s words: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream.  It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same.”  For many people in the former Soviet Union, freedom was not protected and many children suffered as a result.

I’m in the middle of reading a short book entitled “The Endless Steppe: A Girl in Exile “by Esther Hautzig. It starts out with Esther as a happy nine-year old girl in Poland but WWII interrupts her idyllic world.  She and her parents are transplanted in Siberia. This book was published in 1969, so the author knows just how awful the former Soviet Union was to their own people and those of neighboring countries such as Poland especially before WWII broke out.

The women in ALZHIR (concentration camp close to Astana, Kazakhstan) who survived their fabricated sentences also know how to survive as Esther Hautzig portrays in her book.  Back in the 1930s, one could be accused of mixing with the wrong crowd as “enemies of the people” simply by owning more than someone else.  Ownership and privilege came with a cost back in the former Soviet Union in the 1930s and 1940s. ALZHIR is a museum that shows the misery of the thousands of women from different countries in the Soviet Union who were sent there.

Perhaps that is why we love the U.S. because we know of the hardships of others during the Soviet Union, box cars full of people without freedom. Here are photos of names of women who lost their independence and who fought a different kind of battle of survival.

1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    […] is why the boxcar at ALZHIR just outside of Astana (look at yesterday’s blog) shows how confining it really was.  Imagine how many people were crammed into these cattle cars […]


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