Then as I left my teen years, "this great country" started requiring boys to go to Viet Nam and fight a ridiculous war we had business even being in. It was not fair that I was not required to do this. It was not fair that they were required to do this. And that went on for years. By the time it was over, the combination of red, white and blue made me sad and furious.
And, frankly, I never really felt patriotic again. I especially eschew the my-country-right-or-wrong patriotism born of 9/11. But these days it I find the United States mostly embarrassing. I cannot identify with Trump's America. I cannot identify with the 1%ers or the all-corporations-are-evil bunch. I am not proud to be an American.
I do not feel freerer than those who live in other a fair number of other countries. I honestly have no desire to live in another country. Heck, I'm not interested in living in another city.
I'm just glad the 4th of July is behind over.