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I was born in the Soviet Union. Every July 20, I celebrate the day my mother and I arrived in America.
Our family arrived in waves in the late 1970s. My grandmother and her sister were allowed out first. Then my father. Then us. We didn’t know if we would see each other again. The Iron Curtain could be pulled shut at any time. We left family behind. My mother never saw her father again. Nothing about it was easy.
The late ‘70s were not America’s glory days. Inflation was high, crime was everywhere, there was an energy crisis. But more than any of that, there was a crisis of identity and the pervasive idea that America was not that great and not worth saving. There’s a reason Ronald Reagan was such a popular president, winning 49 states in his re-election bid: he reflected America’s greatness, and he did not for one moment allow Americans to forget how lucky they were.
This July 4th, so many people took to social media to say they were disappointed in their country, that