To celebrate Independence Day, the Post Independent asked a handful of folks in Garfield County what it means to them to be Americans. Here are the answers. Happy birthday, USA!
“Being an American is to be privileged with freedom and rights, and to follow through on that privilege by being a responsible citizens and protecting those rights so that everyone can enjoy them.”
— Thomas Moser, 30, is a Glenwood Springs police officer and former lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps.
“It’s the proudest thing. I chose to be American — it’s not something that was given to me. This country has given me not only my two daughters, but freedom, work, independence ... anything I can dream of.”
— Hector Vazquez, 49, grew up in Tijuana and became a U.S. citizen at 30. He lives in Basalt and is the logistics manager at the Habitat ReStore.
“Being American is all about our God-given rights and the freedoms we have. It allows us to be able to sell hot dogs on the street corner if we want. You can’t do that everywhere.”
— Kevin Kelley, co-owner of Lucky Dog hot dog stand, Rifle
“Being American is the way we live; I get to live how I want. Just living the way we want.”
— Melody Archuleta, grandmother, Silt (with her dog, Teddy)
“Being an American means being free, loving and respecting your country and the people around you. It also means standing up for your rights.”
— Elena Jaramillo, 20, is a Brazilian American and a server at the Grind in Glenwood Springs.