America's Birthday! July 4, 1776. This makes us 238 years old! We all debate on which direction politically this country should go but today is a day for celebration not for squabbling and rhetoric. What does America mean to me?

Growing up in Canada to me America was Hollywood, major league sports, extended family and a place to visit and shop. Being an American growing up in Canada was interesting to say the least. Most of my friends were intrigued. It always made for great smack talk when Canada and the US plaed sports internationally. I'd be the only one cheering on USA but it was cool!

Today as an adult now living in the US for almost 20 years what does the United States mean to me? Let's start.

We are a very compassionate country both privately and publicly. In times of need we do help out our less fortunate. Believe it or not the poorer folks get medical attention without cost to them. So for those who say we're heartless when it comes to medical treatments, hospitalizations, etc. we do take care of those who make up to 150% of the poverty line. Plus, our technology and care at the medical centers is top notch.

We're like a family. We all moan and groan about our issues and problems but when push comes to shove this nation unites like no other.

I love the fact that we are a very casual country in the way we approach things. As far as I can tell there is no organized class system, no shooting you down just for being an outsider. I guess in other words I feel my chances to make it here in Maine are just as good as a Maine born citizen.

Our judicial system some say maybe lax and lenient but I'd rather see a guilty person walk than an innocent person go to jail.

I like the fact most judge people upon actions not by their address, look or who or how they are which sort of goes along with people not caring about class and what family you're associated with and your chance to make it.

We can agree or disagree on how we use it but I like the fact that we have a military that can hold it's own against any other worldwide. We also have the ability to defend nations that can't afford their own power. We'd all over any country that attacked Mexico or Canada in a heartbeat! (Yes I know, both Canada and Mexico have a military but not at the level of the US)

We're welcoming to those from away countries if documented and seemingly to those who are not.

You have the right to believe in God and go to church and right to be an Atheist.

This country is an ebb and flow of concepts and ideas with checks and balances where everyone gets their say whether it's in November or in social media.

That in a nutshell is what I like about our great nation!