With Independence Day occurring at a tumultuous time marked by a global pandemic and a national crisis over racial injustice, Climate gave local contributors carte blanche to write their perspectives on what makes America special. We will be publishing our contributors’ American Stories now through July 4. Keep an eye out for these unique and personal pieces.
Our national Independence Day is upon us and it is a day taken to celebrate America the land of the free. We celebrate with barbecues, parades, street fairs and block parties. Growing up as a daughter to immigrant parents we shared pride in being able to partake in honoring America. As graduations were held, goals were met, bonuses earned they were all reminders that the American dream was attainable. We felt lucky to be a part of the melting pot, yet these things haven’t changed so why does this year feel so different?
Is it because we’re seeing our first pandemic in 100 years? Sadly we will not be celebrating with our loved ones. Is it because we are experiencing “civil unrest?” as so many have deemed it. This country has evolved because of its people. The people have time and time again risen and pushed the glass ceiling and we continue to see that today.
The year 2020 feels different because now more than ever we are taking the time to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going. We are demanding to be better, not only for today but for future generations. We as a nation have come together and we rise together to stand up for what is right. America is defined by what we make of her. This is what makes America special. We have inspired the world and I hope this Fourth of July as we grill and eat and drink we don’t look down on those who have the courage to protest and ask for more, but that we honor that we have the right to.
Jessica Sanchez, 33, was born and raised in Redwood City to parents who immigrated to the United States from Mexico in the early 1970s. Sanchez is a mother to a daughter whose fifth birthday, coincidentally, is the third of July.