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Foreigner Day September 18, 2010

I spent 9/11/10 at World Cup Stadium cheering on FC Seoul and eating a free hot dog and drinking a free Budweiser among 1000’s of people who weigh more than me. Perhaps this was their way of giving their condolences. “Sorry about that terrorist attack 9 years ago. Have a hotdog, on us.” Or maybe it was a brilliant trap. “Why are all these free hotdogs just sitting on this giant mouse trap?” Or perhaps the world doesn’t revolve around us and it was just a nice way to get a lot of people into an beautiful and underused stadium on a Saturday afternoon. Other than watching a sport in which only 4 points were scored in a span of 2 hours, it was down right American.

There was no bickering, no fear mongering, no political agenda being pushed. Americans overseas aren’t grouped into political view points like¬†we are at home. We don’t roll our eyes at each other or put one another’s view points down. We are just happy to see one another. This first question when meeting expats isn’t, “What’s your name?” it’s “Where are you from?” You can have an hour long conversation with someone about their state and the things you miss from home, what college you went to, and how your team looks going into the football season and part ways and realize that you only know them as Colorado or Minnesota.

It doesn’t matter how you vote. We are missing the same food and driving laws and the sweet sound of English being spoken. I was very glad to be out of the country this year on September 11th. For one thing, it still isn’t a pleasant thing to think about, though think of it we must. Second, I was so happy to have a feeling of¬†camaraderie among Americans. That is something that we are missing. You may not be aware because MSNBC and Fox News would have you believe that it isn’t something worth missing. You may be thinking that those who voted for the other guy aren’t worth missing, but here’s the thing, we are Americans and the rest of the world isn’t. We combine apples and cheddar, we hold open elections and have smooth transitions of power, we over eat really delicious food, we explore space, we play games with names like ‘cornhole,’ and we have the freedom to disapprove of one another. For better or for worse we are fiercely individualistic. We are Americans, all of us. If you are at home and are frustrated with the constant arguing and partisanship, be happy that the next person you see will be just as American as you are. No matter their view-point, religion, or race, there is something that we share. We are Americans, so knock it off with the fighting already.


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