News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

July 4, 2013

Why are you proud to be an American?

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Tribune-Star recently asked readers to tell us why they were “Proud to be an American.” Here are their responses, with minimal editing:

 

Why am I proud to be an American? I looked up the word “proud” and it referred me to “pride.” There are some very negative words connected to those two words.

I need to transpose the subject of this letter to “why I take pride in America.” America is a country with many freedoms that people in other countries can only wish for and dream about. I don’t need to list all the freedoms we have. If you live here you already know what they are. If you don’t live in America, there aren’t sufficient words to explain the many freedoms that we celebrate. In America even the poorest are rich compared to so many other countries.  

But how can I be “proud to be an American” when my sole contribution was just to be born here? I can be proud of what my forefathers, the founders, fought for and established in this wonderful United States of America. Today’s generation has no idea what struggles went on in order to ensure them today’s freedom and luxuries. I can be happy that America has always had warriors ready to give their lives for this land of the free and home of the brave.

But I can’t take any credit for that either. Nor can I take any credit for our freedom of religion. But I am very thankful that I was raised by Christian parents who taught me to appreciate the freedoms in America and especially the freedom to worship the God of our choice. In America, people also have the freedom to ignore all religion. There are exceptions to every blessing, but most of the time things are going okay for the majority in America.

We grieve over the country’s natural disasters, crime, war and poverty, but bad things happen worldwide. America can be proud of its established systems for the welfare of its citizens, such as law enforcement, fire departments, health services, education, parks and recreation facilities, transportation services, roads and highways, and … the list goes on and on.

For me, the greatest blessing is the freedom to attend a church and worship openly without fear of being killed or arrested. My mother’s recorded family history began in 1738 when five young Crist brothers boarded a ship to the “new land” across the Atlantic Ocean. It took six grueling, miserable months to arrive on the shores of the new land. They anticipated it as the land of the free. The brothers kept detailed journals of their trip and their experiences. Their adventures eventually led them to settling in the rough land later to be named Indiana. Their journals recorded many hair-raising events and tragedies. I am proud of all our forefathers for their bravery and courage to build America into a great country.

Reviewing all of this, I truly can say “I’m proud to be an American.” This is the best, and the good far outweighs the bad. God bless America.

— Pat Creasey, Terre Haute

• • •

My pride in being an American was generated in another era. We learned the Pledge of Allegiance, and The National Anthem, in school. We also were taught the “Battle Hymn” and “God Bless America.” These were taught by teachers who cared, and reinforced at home by parents who thought this was important. I remember the day that World War II ended. I knew that my dad had done a good job helping to secure victory for the Allies. My uncle fought in almost every big battle in Italy and Sicily. He was not braggadocious about his Purple Heart and clusters. It was a good man just doing his job.

There is a reason that this was called the Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw. It was an excellent observation. I have had the joy of singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” for many occasions while singing with the Banks of the Wabash Chorus. Getting a thank you for singing it the way it is supposed to be sung gives me goose pimples. Getting a hug from a Blue Angel for our presentation was a highlight.

How could I not be a patriot? It is planted in the marrow of my bones.

— Ronald L. Farlin, now of Bullhead City, AZ

• • •

President Lincoln said it best in the Gettysburg Address: “That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

God Bless America, the land of the free.

— Tim and Marsha Long, Carbon

• • •

To explain why I am proud to be an American, I have to tell the story of my life. I was born in East Bengal of British India 85 years ago, and my place of birth became a part of East Pakistan in 1947 when the British left. In 1971 it became Muslim Bangladesh. I survived the famine of 1943 when millions from Bengal died … and we were driven to India from our ancestral home.

In the India of today 140 million live on the streets and more than 600 million live on $1 per day, and the largest number of the poor of the world are in India. Most of them are low-caste untouchable Hindus, who are treated by the upper-caste Hindus with utmost indignity.

Still, I could get my medical degree from Calcutta in 1953. I found a job in a government-run railway hospital with a salary of 200 rupees per month, which was  less than that of a junior nurse. And that money was barely enough to buy the food for the family. …

There was no other way to earn a living; I had to work there for six years. Luckily at that time, the USA opened its doors to train doctors from developing countries. I passed the required test and got a residency in Massachusetts to start from July of 1961. Unlike the officials of the Indian government, the people of the U.S. consulate were kind and helping and they gave me a visa and advised me to write to an organization of New York that was helping foreign students.

So in the last week of June of 1961, I landed in a New York airport, and after the paper formalities I came out into the lounge. A gentleman came and asked me if I was “Doctor Sarkar from India.” I said yes, and he showed me the letter I wrote to them. I told him that I would go to Pittsfield in Massachusetts by bus next day as I had a Greyhound bus ticket. He carried my bag and drove me to Manhattan and put me in the YMCA hostel where I had to pay only $5 for the room. He called the bus station and told me that my bus would leave at 9 a.m. next day, and he showed me how to go to the bus station. I was overwhelmed by his kind help and could not thank him enough. I realized that I came to the best country in the world, and the Americans were very kind and helpful. The work in the modern hospital was challenging but enjoyable, and the doctors were eager to train us.

Then after six months I could bring my wife, Dr. Dipa Sarkar, and our baby daughter, Rumu, and we two finished our training and started in 1969 to work at Union Hospital in Terre Haute. We got out of poverty and enjoyed dignity as a human being for the first time, and later got U.S. citizenship. We got love and kindness from our Jewish and Christian friends. After our early retirement in 1990, we traveled to most countries of the world and could know the other members of our human family. I know the history of my adopted motherland, the land of Washington and Lincoln and the champion of the suffering humanity, and naturally I am very proud to be an American.

— Anil K. Sarkar, M.D., Terre Haute

• • •

Here are a few reasons of why I like Being an American:

• One Run For Boston

• Big Brother Big Sister

• The Year of the River Watermark Landing

• Haircuts-for-Hugs in Hartford, Conn.

• We The People

— Marla Norris, Terre Haute

• • •

I am very proud to be an American. Our country isn’t perfect, but nothing is on this earth. We have many “freedoms” that other countries only dream of having. Some of these freedoms are that we can worship God, freedom of speech and freedom of the press. We are also able to travel wherever we want or need to go.

I’m proud that we are able to fly the American flag. I’m very patriotic and like to show my “true colors” — red, white and blue. I know that our military is taking good care of us. The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard not only take care of us, but many other countries.

Our country isn’t perfect, but nothing is on this earth. Yes, I’m proud to be an American. God bless America.

— Connie Conway, Terre Haute

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
  • MET072514 invenadamson step.jpg ‘Minds-on camp’

    Sylvia Ann Adamson longed for privacy, so she invented a solution to that problem at “Camp Invention.”

    July 25, 2014 5 Photos

  • Linda Tincher.jpg Riley lion’s roar goes global

    Linda L. Tincher has become the first woman from Indiana elected to serve as an international director for Lions Clubs International. She was chosen earlier this month during the clubs’ 97th international convention in Toronto, Canada.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET072514 SPPRAK glasses.jpg Kindness ‘undercover’

    Hundreds of people gathered at Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium on Friday for a night of baseball, music, the “Green Man” and green shades.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Residents ‘stuff the bus’ with pencils, notebooks, backpacks

    After exiting a Wal-Mart store in Clinton, Roger E. Richardson stopped his shopping cart Friday in front of a large yellow South Vermillion School Corporation bus.

    July 25, 2014

  • Man faces 9 charges in homicide case

    A Solsberry man faces nine criminal charges related to a July 18 homicide and rape in rural Greene County.

    July 25, 2014 1 Story

  • maroon truck.jpg UPDATE: Rockville man dies after head-on collision

    A Rockville man has died from injuries he sustained this afternoon in a two-vehicle, head-on crash on U.S. 41 north of Lyford.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • red truck.jpg Head-on crash leaves Rockville man seriously injured

    A Rockville man was air-lifted to an Indianapolis hospital with serious injuries this afternoon following a two-vehicle crash on U.S. 41 north of Lyford.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vigo County Jail Log: July 25, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Thursday and Friday, based on jail records.

    July 25, 2014

  • Measles case confirmed in Central Indiana

    INDIANAPOLIS — State health officials have confirmed a case of measles in Central Indiana. The Indiana State Department of Health is working with local health departments and health care providers to identify additional cases of measles, and to prevent further transmission of the disease.

    July 25, 2014

  • Fast food workers prepare to escalate wage demands

    CHICAGO (AP) — Fast food workers say they’re prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers will discuss the future of the effort that has spread to dozens of cities in less than two years.

    July 25, 2014

  • 4 doctors arrested after Indiana clinic raids

    CARMEL, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say four doctors have been arrested on charges of improperly prescribing a drug used to treat painkiller addiction from several Indiana offices.

    July 25, 2014

  • holiday world thunderbird.jpg Holiday World plans new winged roller coaster

    SANTA CLAUS, Ind. (AP) — The Holiday World amusement park in southern Indiana is building a new $22 million roller coaster that it says will launch riders to 60 miles an hour in 3.5 seconds, with a 14-story loop and four inversions.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indianapolis pulls future support for Amtrak line

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — City officials in Indianapolis have cast the future of an Amtrak passenger line between Indianapolis and Chicago into doubt after deciding not to provide any additional money to subsidize that line.

    July 25, 2014

  • Pence leading annual governor’s motorcycle ride

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mike Pence is leading the annual governor’s motorcycle ride from the Statehouse through southern Indiana.

    July 25, 2014

  • State asks judge to delay right-to-work ruling

    CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — The Indiana attorney general’s office has asked a judge to put on hold his order striking down the state’s right-to-work law.

    July 25, 2014

  • MET 072414 HOESS 01KOR.jpg Voices from Auschwitz: Ties that bind

    A message that has spread like wildfire across Europe can easily translate to America.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos 1 Story

  • Minimum wage frozen after 5 years

    Thursday marked the fifth anniversary since the federal minimum wage was increased, a wage U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez contends should again be raised.

    July 24, 2014

  • MET072414 CANDLES shake.jpg ISU, CANDLES join to ‘illuminate the world’

    Indiana State University and CANDLES Holocaust Museum are joining forces to educate current and future generations about the Holocaust, genocide and related issues.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story

  • MET072414 JA hadley.jpg 50 years later, still business as usual

    Junior Achievement of the Wabash Valley marked its 50th anniversary hosting a luau Thursday at the Ohio Building in Terre Haute.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Two semis collide; one driver injured

    A semi-trailer driver from North Carolina was airlifted to Methodist Hospital Thursday after his vehicle collided with another tractor-trailer on Interstate 70 in far western Vigo County.

    July 24, 2014

  • Valley talent returns for show tonight

    Local musical collective Lunes Domingo is scheduled to be back at The Verve tonight to perform the last installment of its 2014 series.

    July 24, 2014

  • Police find 2 meth labs in 1 house

    The Clay County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday arrested a Staunton man and a Terre Haute woman on felony charges of manufacturing and possessing methamphetamine.

    July 24, 2014

  • Police say man broke into prison building

    A man living at a Carlisle motel has been arrested for trespassing and criminal mischief after he allegedly kicked in a prison building door.

    July 24, 2014

  • Driver airlifted to Methodist after I-70 crash

    A semi-trailer driver from North Carolina was airlifted to Methodist Hospital today after his vehicle collided with another tractor-trailer on Interstate 70 in far western Vigo County.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lunes Domingo, Bear Foote Jackson at The Verve July 25

    Local musical collective Lunes Domingo will be back at The Verve on Friday, July 25, to perform the last installment of their 2014 series. Cost is $3.

    July 24, 2014

  • West T Water Works issues boil order

    The West Terre Haute Water Works announced this morning that a boil order is in effect until further notice for the community of West Terre Haute and Sugar Creek Township.

    July 24, 2014

  • Grease fire closes Terre Haute restaurant for short time

    A grease fire closed the Golden Corral for about three hours on Wednesday.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vigo County Jail Log: July 24, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Thursday and Friday, based on jail records.

    July 24, 2014

  • Bloomington helping with beer brewery’s project

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — The city of Bloomington is helping a beer brewery with an expansion of its downtown restaurant and bar.

    July 24, 2014

  • Family: Teen pilot who crashed in ocean knew risks

    PLAINFIELD, Ind. (AP) — Haris Suleman knew that flying around the world carried risks. But like adventurers before him, the 17-year-old pilot from Indiana also believed dreams aren’t achieved without taking chances.

    July 24, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity