What Does American Mean to you? (July 4, 2019)

As we celebrate the 4th of July aka Independence Day, a patriotic American holiday, Nextpat talks to a Third Culture Kid (TCK) about what being American means to her, as someone who grew up overseas and came to America with a different perspective on being a global citizen and American.

--What do you think of when you think of the phrase “American”?

--How did you celebrate July 4th overseas, how is that different from celebrating it in the U.S.?

A few quick history reminders:

-The Declaration of Independence was signed on 2 July 1776, but broadsheets took time

to print and distribute nationwide, so most citizens heard of it on 4 July 1776, when we currently celebrate the Declaration. You can still see one of the originals at The National Archives in Washington, D.C.

-The Declaration enumerates grievances against the King of England (see “Hamilton”) and declares the United States of America to be sovereign in its own right – it contains what would eventually be used as the basis for what are considered “American ideals” – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

-John Adams hoped that the holiday would be “…solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”