By Caleb Parke/Twitter

President Trump kicked off his administration’s “Made in America” initiative this week at the White House to highlight American-made products – from baseball bats to tractors – but what does “Made in America” mean to her people?

For the last eight years, Americans watched as our former commander-in-chief apologized for American exceptionalism on a global stage, and recently, President Obama warned against too much patriotism.

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No. Not today. Not anymore. I will always be proud to be “Made in America.”

It’s mourning together and uniting in prayer when terror strikes our land, sharing a high five with a stranger at a bar when Team USA wins another gold and the national anthem plays for all the world to see – it’s what breaks and binds us.

I’m a fairly average American. I grew up on a horse farm in Findlay, Ohio. I tried to get all A’s in school, played several sports, and graduated from college. My parents divorced, but my family is as strong as ever. I grew up going to church, and although I was baptized in the Jordan River in Israel, I first met Jesus on American soil.

When I was in kindergarten, no joke, I wanted to be a “horse” when I grew up. Thank God I’m not a kid in public school today, otherwise they’d reaffirm my dream and ship me to a stable.

It didn’t take long for that ship to sail, however, and over the years I’ve had many dreams: National Geographic photographer (sorry Mom and Dad for wasting rolls of still-yet-to-be-developed film); electrical engineer (until I got to circuits, ugh); governor of Ohio (still holding out for this one), and, on and on I could go.

Some on the Left think we need to tamper down our American pride. They think it’s racist, xenophobic, or Islamophobic. They’re wrong.

And just like Tommy Boy, let me tell you why this product doesn’t need a guarantee.

Everyone who’s “Made in America” has limitless opportunities. Unlike Great Britain, you can actually become the leader of our great country! Unlike the 30-some Muslim-majority countries, women and men are actually treated equally under the law.

But I’m not here to bash other countries. I’m here to highlight America’s greatness.

One of my favorite things about America is that we don’t wallow in our flaws. If we see something that’s wrong, we fix it. From slavery to taxes to poverty to homelessness. The will to do good is in our blood.

The song “Made in America” by Toby Keith sums it up like only country music can:

Born in the heartland, raised up a family
King James and Uncle Sam

Got the red, white, and blue flyin’ high on the farm
Semper fi tattooed on his left arm
Spends a little more at the store for a tag
In the back that says U.S.A.
Won’t buy nothin’ that he can’t fix
With WD Forty and a Craftsman wrench
He ain’t prejudice. He’s just, made in America

King James and Uncle Sam, baby! As President Trump said, “In America we don’t worship government, we worship God.”

We’re a generous, innovative, groundbreaking and history-making nation, and none of this would matter if God didn’t bless and keep us — because we’ve seen nations rise and fall, but America is different because we were founded on time-tested truths and principles.

From Washington to Reagan to Trump, America has been an idea of freedom and moving ahead in the world.

My fear is that our generation and the generations to come forget what it means to be “Made in America.” If that happens, America, as we know it, goes with it.

When you see “Made in America” on something, it should mean that you’re getting the best this world has to offer.

Just like Dad told me growing up, “In search of excellence.”

Criticize America. Call her out. But celebrate her freedom and independence…and thank God for her existence.

Caleb Parke, freedom, Made in America, USA, Bible, Pocket constitution, American flag, patriotic

On the Freedom Wall of the National World War II Memorial in our nation’s capitol is inscribed: HERE WE MARK THE PRICE OF FREEDOM.

Let’s honor that FREEDOM: Pass it on.

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July 21, 2017