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Proud to be an American

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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

I have a very special friend--Ted Wilson, former Salt Lake City mayor and now director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics. We have had a close relationship for well over 20 years. Recently, Ted wrote a piece in the Enterprise newspaper that really hit a responsive chord with me. He's given me permission to give you some parts from that piece.

He wrote: “No one told me when I was 12 that I could not go to college because I tested into an industrial future. No one told my parents where they must live or work. No one demanded a permit for my family to visit my relatives in California. No one kept me from earning the right to gain a driver's license or to operate a car. No one arranged for my marriage. For I am an American.”

“My government tells me to forward a portion of my income for the commonwealth. My government told me to serve my country in the armed forces. My government demands I respect laws written to protect us from each other. I am proud to do these things, for I am an American.”

“Some Americans have given much more. Why they did not cut and run at the Wheat Field during Pickett's charge at Gettysburg I will never know. How they could climb back into the bomber day after day to face flack over Germany is beyond me. And how they faced Omaha Beach, San Juan Hill, Iwo Jima, the Mekong Delta, the trenches at Verdun and the anger of Somalia is unfathomable. I only pray that if I were there, I would have joined their incredible bravery. I wonder if I could. I walk the rows of gleaming marble at Arlington and I cry tears of admiration for them, for I am an American.”

We have never starved or watched our families murdered by an invading tribe. We have the best of education. Our outdoor magnificence has given us recreational activities beyond comprehension and because of them, we welcome the world next year.

“We are not only lucky to be Americans; we are lucky to be special Americans. Yet America is not without fault. The saga of Timothy McVeigh sandpapered our souls. Five children dying in a tub at the hands of a mother racks us with pain. We put things ahead of people. But as Americans, we work on these problems.”

I’m proud to be an American. I'll bet you are too.

For Zions Bank, I’m Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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