I don’t feel like a facebook post would allow enough characters to express the gratitude I feel today. I am so grateful to have been born in America, so grateful to live here, so extremely grateful to all of the people who work in different capacities to protect my freedom and spread that freedom to others. This time last year I was arriving in a completely foreign country. While there were some wonderful parts about living in South Africa, being home has made me realize how grateful I should be to live in a first world country. I have running clean water, a toilet, reliable electricity, a car(!!!) to get me wherever I want to go, and people who love and support me surrounding me. I have to throw a huge shout out to all of the Peace Corps volunteers serving in foreign countries today. I should have been in South Africa for a year today, but clearly that wasn’t in the cards for me. PCVs battle hardships you can’t imagine every single day and I am so proud of the people in my cohort who have now made it a full year. CONGRATULATIONS!!! I am grateful for the work they are doing to learn about a different culture, share American culture, and share skills with non-Americans. I am also grateful for those who have served or are serving in the armed forces who protect my freedom every day and sometimes have to give their lives to do so. While today is a day of celebration, it’s also a day of remembrance of all of those who have given their lives to ensure our freedom.