Happy Birthday America from Sea to Shining Sea and Beyond

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5,889,335 Foreign Visitors Traveled to USA in April

Happy 4th of July to all Americans, and all friends of the United States of America around the globe. eTurboNews is privileged to be located in a country where media is allowed to speak out, and journalists don’t have to fear to be intimidated. eTN Publisher Juergen Steinmetz shares his thoughts as a German American for the 4th of July.

I immigrated to the United States of America from Duesseldorf, Germany in 1982 with so many dreams as a young professional to build a life and a business in this wonderful country, the land of endless opportunities.

I still love my birth country, Germany, where I grew up, went to school, and have many of my family and friends I trust. It will always be my home. This is the great part when adding America as a new home, where cultures, languages, and experiences from every corner of the globe come together to become one people, to become Americans with a common goal, and to live the American dream.

2.6 million people immigrated to the US in 2022 alone, with 80 million visitors arriving at our airports, land borders, and shores every year. No matter how critical the world gets on American issues, people from all over the world love us, visit us, and move to be one of us. Every day those who aren’t fortunate enough to get a visa to come here legally, risk their lives, and many die to cross our borders.

The U.S. remains a country the world wants to travel to and be part of. This hasn’t changed since 1776.

When I moved to the small town of Olathe, Kansas in 1984 it felt like the Mayberry of the United States. A wonderful town in one of the fastest-growing counties in the United States with super friendly, trusting people, that often don’t know the rest of the world very much.

Resettling to the Aloha State of Hawaii in 1988 was however a life changer. Adopting the essence of the Aloha Spirit, and experiencing the beauty of our remote tropical islands in the middle of the Pacific. It felt like a million miles away from the U.S., but after all, it is part of our country.

36 years later I left Hawaii to escape the ever-increasing cost of living. I moved to Dallas, Texas on June 16, 2024. Dallas is a sophisticated, modern, and friendly city, and so different from Hawaii.

I am learning every day when getting compliments from people noticing my Hawaii license plate. I am stunned when going into a supermarket and see double the variety for about half of the price.

I love driving my German Mercedes 75 mph through wide-open Texas spaces.

I am impressed when visiting a doctor’s office with sophisticated tools, and efficiency.

I am adopting, but to be honest, I do already miss my beaches, the turtles, and the refreshing trade winds.

On my way to Dallas, after picking up my car in Long Beach, California, I stopped at my favorite place in the world, a place that can bring tears to your eyes, because it’s so beautiful- the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

I experienced the hospitality and friendliness of the people I met when staying in Cortez, Colorado, and the charming city of Santa Fe in New Mexico with a taste of Old Mexico.

America is not a perfect country, but close to it. Politics here are dirty, and I wish we had more choices to vote. Guns are deadly and should be banned.

Foreign politics and double standards don’t always reflect the way people think and can be embarrassing as an American when traveling and being confronted by old friends who don’t reside in this country.

Here is the good part. We, the people are allowed to think and speak out, but unfortunately, success often lies with money and those that have it.

US AID today issued this wonderful statement, which I like to adopt:

Then the 56 delegates of the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, they were asserting the right to a government by and for the people, where their interests would be represented and their voices would be heard.

Today, we honor not only that founding ideal, but also the people who pushed over centuries for it to apply to all Americans, regardless of identity belief, or background – to build a country where everyone could live safely and freely to actively shape the future of their country. We honor the women, from Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton at Seneca Falls to Sojourner Truth in Akron, Ohio, who advocated fiercely for the right of all women to vote.

We honor the students of color who led sit-ins and marches to demand equal rights. We honor the LGBTQI+ activists who organized protests from Los Angeles to Chicago to New York for the right to love and to live, as themselves. And we honor the countless Americans who continue to fight for freedom and equality – in classrooms and courtrooms, in state legislatures and the halls of Congress, at dinner tables and conference tables, in communities here at home and around the world.

This July 4, I urge us all to recognize the tremendous responsibility we have to create a more perfect union – and, however, we can, to help build a nation where everyone, no matter who they are or where they live, can pursue those most unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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