As America commemorates July 4, 1776, the historic day when the Declaration of Independence was adopted, I find myself reflecting on my own memories of visiting the United States for the first time. Back in December 2009, during the pursuit of my PhD, I had the opportunity to travel to the US. As I embarked on my journey to the Center for Produce Safety in Griffith, Georgia, following my arrival in Atlanta, one aspect stood out to me: the remarkable willingness of Americans to extend a helping hand to foreigners and visitors like myself. Whenever I found myself pulling my luggage through the streets, kind-hearted individuals would frequently approach and offer their assistance. It seemed evident that many of them had once been visitors in the US who had now become proud citizens.
Since that initial visit, I have had the privilege of exploring over 12 different states within the US, and my admiration for the country has only grown. On this July 4th, as Americans celebrate, let us hope that they will continue to uphold the values that make their nation a beacon of freedom and bravery. May they also strive to promote freedom and democracy worldwide, embodying the spirit of “land of the free and home of the brave.” Wishing Americans a joyful July 4th!