When I try to explain my love affair with my adoptive country I start by explaining that America is a country based on an idea. That idea however is not a guarantee, it’s a promise. It is up to every generation to work and struggle to make the reality of the United States closer to its promise. All the ugliness and darkness that existed within the country’s borders and within its population did not magically vanish on a single day in January 2009. The beauty and the light did not magically vanish on a single day in January 2017. On July 4th each year I celebrate my opportunity as an adoptive American to be part of the journey to create a more perfect union. I wish the route of that journey was more direct but July 4th 2017 gave me just as many reasons to celebrate as every July 4th since I became a citizen of our proud republic.