I am an American, not by birth but by choice.
I came to the United States from Mexico because I fell in love with a man who respected my intelligence and I fell in love with all the opportunities that this great country provides.
Not every country offers as much hope for its men, women, and children.
As a girl, seeing the American flag meant something magical to me. It stood for democracy. It stood for hope, world leadership, freedom.
With its red and white stripes and white stars on a deep blue field, the U.S. flag reflects the history of how thirteen colonies separated from tyranny and eventually became fifty, united states.
But we don't feel very united these days, do we?
We're haunted by the horror of children being separated from their mothers at our borders.
Our patriotic spirit is challenged every day by negative politics, gun violence, greed, and prejudice.
Many worry our country is on the path to the kind of tyranny those thirteen colonies and our nation's founders fought so hard to free us from.
Return to America. Come to America. Choose and choose again to embrace and respect democracy, hope, world leadership, and freedom.
That is what we celebrate on Independence Day.
Dr. Elba Garcia
Dallas County Commissioner, District 4