My American story started when my father took me to a fourth of July picnic at the park near our home in Hayward, CA. Every year. We would walk over in the morning for a pancake breakfast. Come back later in the afternoon for a hot dog, and listen to the patriotic music on the bandstand. And in the evening, we would watch the fireworks, or light our own at home. My father was the most patriotic person I knew. A WWII veteran who loved his country and instilled that love in me. He would always have a flag flying in front of his home, and now, so do I. He died about 8 years ago, but he taught me to love my country, my family, and God. I am truely blessed by his love and teachings. His stories about the war are amazing! Anyway, I think that his love and caring helped shape me into the person I am today!