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God bless you, America, the shelter that my ancestors sought when their children were threatened by state-sponsored persecution.

God bless you, America, the prison of those who were once deemed fractional human beings, the beloved home of those who have belonged to this land for unknowable amounts of time.

God bless you, America, the country of endless migration waves and very short memories.

America, the beautiful, the painful, the powerful.

You have never been everything that we wished you would be, but your shortcomings will not keep us from trying to make you more just, more kind, more true.

On this anniversary of your independence, we pray that you will be blessed with leaders who will strive to serve your people, with voters who will use their power to make your future brighter, with activists who will continue to pursue your ideals, and with citizens whose hearts will be big enough to care for all people- from sea to shining sea.

God bless you, America. And, may you bless all those in your embrace.

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