This is the first July 4th in a long time I wasn’t celebrating where it all began, Philadelphia. Love that place with its rich history; am awe-struck by being close to the country’s maternity ward, and walking the same paths as the Founders. The Liberty Bell. Independence Hall. On this day I am in Atlanta, where it all began for me. Some of the networks wanted comment on Chris Christie’s activities on the beach, so it was a working holiday. News doesn’t take a day off.
MSNBC furnished me a driver. HIs name is Muhammad, an immigrant from Bangladesh. A pleasant man, he came to the USA, first to New York then to the Atlanta area because of his specialized work in electronics. A bigger company swallowed his and he was unemployed. His wife told him, not to worry, when God closes a door he opens a window somewhere, he remembers.
At first, Muhammad wasn’t thrilled about being a driver, a long way from his training and skills. But Muhammad is happy and content now. He meets a lot of interesting people and he gets to see fascinating places. He can pick and choose what assignments to take. He has more control over his life. His daughters are doing well at Georgia State University. He is living the American dream, a dream so many born here take for granted or dismiss.
When we arrived at destinations, Muhammad would turn to me and say, “Thanks to God we have arrived safely.” He is Muslim and so proud to be American.
Those symbols in ol’ Philly are just that, symbols of what we are and what we can be. The potential that has brought us to where we are. Muhammad is real life proof it works for all who believe and will invest in our common destiny. The rewards are great and not all financial.
This was one of the best Independence Days ever.