After what we have come through in the past 15 months, here is to this upcoming weekend and the 4th of July.

Canada is where I was born, although I was in Maine every summer for the first 16 years of my life. Once I got into radio, I climbed the ladder and was working in the Detroit, Michigan market, but the station was located across the border in Windsor, Ontario. From there I applied to move to America, (legally for the record) and did all the necessary paperwork, and was granted Resident Alien status. It was one of the happiest days of my life.

Look up "thrilled" in the dictionary, and you'll see my smiling face. The last thing you do, once you are approved and everything is filed and okayed by all the government departments, is to cross the border into the United States and get your passport and paperwork stamped by Immigration proving that you are legal.

When it was time to do that final act, it was so close to the 4th of July that I waited until the day arrived so that my official documents would forever say I emigrated on July 4th.

Feels like it was yesterday and not so far in the past like it actually is. When I became eligible to become a citizen -- however many years that takes, I forget -- I did that too, with great respect and love for this country.

As we look forward, who knows what is in our country’s future. It seems that democracy is being tested, and it is more and more difficult for political people to find common ground. However, I take nothing for granted and work at keeping America the great nation that it is.

Final word. This coming weekend take a moment to yourself for reflection, and smile with gratitude that you get to live in the United States of America. Happy 4th of July.

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