Birthdays. Every one in the world has one, and here in America we are very fond of our birthdays and celebrating them, especially at a young age. But why with age do birthdays lose their luster, shouldn’t birthdays be celebrated more the older we get? As time passes we certainly accomplish more, experience more, and become wiser. Isn’t that cause for celebration?
239 years ago this 4th of July America was born. A proud group of men and women (the first Americans) declared independence from British rule. They knew their actions would bring war, death, and hardships they couldn’t imagine, but they chose to make a stand, founded on the belief that they had the right to a better life and the right to control their own futures. And step by step, battle by battle, they overcame their hardships to achieve their dream of freedom, a dream that became America.
Nearly 240 years later it seems however, America’s birthday, like our own has lost its luster or rather its meaning. I think most appreciate the day off, maybe enjoy a beer and barbecue, and get in some watersport activities, but while all are a celebration of our freedom have you ever stopped to think how living in a country with so many freedoms affects your life? I have been thinking about that exact question quite a lot lately, and today I’d like to share with you a little of my background and what living in America means and has meant to me.
My brother and I grew up on a family farm in central Wisconsin, and while our upbringing was humble we learned the importance of dedication, hard work, and felt pride in all we accomplished. My brother and I rarely fought, probably because we had a lot of chores to do and learned quickly that four hands were always better than two.
My father worked full time on the farm and my mother quit her job for several years to raise my brother and I. These years were hard, the family had little money, most of our clothes were hand-me-downs, and nearly all of our food was grown on the farm. We never had much more than we needed, but this was fine, in our minds what we had was plenty.
As my brother and I got older our mother went back to work as an M.A. at a local clinic and as we prepared for our careers our father took a job off of the farm to help put us through college. My brother and I also started working for other local farmers and for the local township to help raise some money to put towards our futures.
My brother and I both continued our education after high school. He landed a great job with Fabco Caterpillar (he is one of the most mechanically inclined people I have ever met!) while after graduation I figured out I was too bullheaded to work for someone else and did some odd jobs till I started my first business.
I started in biodiesel and slowly transitioned into lubricants and fuel additives, and today the company I run, AET Systems Inc., exclusively represents the American interests of Wagner Industries, a German Oil and Chemical Company. We are only about 6 months old in the U.S., and doing very well, but we have a long way to go and a lot of work ahead! Currently we offer a small number of Wagner Products, but are adding products every day as we translate labels, brochures, and product instructions from German to English. AET has come along way, and I cant wait to see where we can take the company.
So now that you have a little understanding about my upbringing let me share with you how the things in my life have shaped how I view the 4th of July and America.
I firmly believe America has given me opportunities that no other country could have provided. I grew up relatively poor, went to a college where I had professors from all kinds of different countries, upbringings, religions, cultures, and ethnicities, had job offers right out of college, have the opportunity to run my own business, and do business with industry leaders all over the world. None of these opportunities were pushed on me, handed to me, nor was I entitled to; I went out found my passion, pursued my passion, and created my own opportunity. Where else can you do that?
AET Systems publishes articles they want to, in the manner they want, using the language we choose. We push, post, tweet, and hashtag on topics that are important to the company’s success and vision, without government censorship. AET owns the land it operates on, pays a sensible amount of taxes, and is provided protection, water, and utilities for a reasonable cost. Where else can a business do that?
On days off I’ve hiked America’s mountains, fished its streams, hunted its game, and rafted through its canyons. All for very little cost! Where else can you do that?
Now, America is not perfect, like all human endeavors, it is a work in progress. America, like individuals, faces challenges, set backs, and low points, but I do believe if you are willing to work for what you want and what you believe, America will provide opportunities.
So here we are a few days from the 4th of July, America’s birthday and all I want to say is not Happy Birthday, but rather Thank-You. Thank-you to all the men and women who have protected our freedoms and our country in the past, present, and future. Without your sacrifices America would not be the opportunistic melting pot that it is. Also, I would like to promise that I will jump at every opportunity to give back to the country that has allowed (not handed) me the opportunity to work towards my dreams.
Curious about AET Systems, Our story, and what happened to our family farm? Check us out https://advancedenginetech.com/ourstory/
Have a Safe and Enjoyable 4th of July! And if you are traveling remember to be mindful of all the truck drivers, they make their living on the road making sure America keeps running smooth! So give them a little extra room and a lot of respect 🙂
With Warmest Regards,