July 5th, 2012

USA! USA! US…eh…

If you’ve been on the internet this week, you’ve probably seen “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ‘MERICA” headlines strewn all over your feeds, spotted Lee Greenwood singing “God Bless the USA” in his American flag jacket and watched YouTube videos of fireworks shows. (Or, maybe that’s just me?)

But, if you haven’t been on the internet this week, welcome. And, let me show you a patriotic series that CNN Digital has drummed up on American Exceptionalism – a concept that the USA is exceptional when compared to other countries (though we also have articles that explain in what aspects other countries are ahead of us…gotta keep the balance!).

HISTORY: So let’s start at the beginning. Dan Gilgoff, the editor of CNN’s Belief Blog, gives readers a quick survey course of American Exceptionalism through history, starting with the Puritans in New England and concluding with a speech excerpt from President Obama. Gilgoff contends that American Exceptionalism has always been the attitude of our nation and continues to shape the country. CNN also talked to several American historians about their favorite historically-rich sites across the nation. Their answers ranged from Jamestown to Homestead National Monument.

PEOPLE: A story that was birthed as an iReport assignment sprouted into an article that asked naturalized citizens why they chose to become Americans. It’s exciting to learn about the naturalization process through the eyes of immigrants, and to see what people from other countries value about the United States – whether it’s a job, freedom or the culture. On June 29, people from 54 countries became naturalized U.S. citizens. CNN talked to some of these people, and asked them why they think America is exceptional in a photo gallery CNN calls “The faces of citizenship”.

FUN STUFF: Oh, and did I mention we have a Red Chair interview with Lee Greenwood? “God Bless the USA”!

So, here’s to you, United States of America. Hope everyone enjoys this holiday week!