I don't think I truly appreciated--truly understood--how blessed we are to live in America, until last April when our fancy cruise ship happened across 23 Cubans in the middle of the ocean who were so desperate to live in another country that they were willing to set sail across the Caribbean Sea in a homemade boat, hoping to make it to Venezuela.
Our cruise ship stopped and sent out a life boat and offered help. Eventually they were taken aboard our ship and given food and water. Unfortunately that meant they had to be turned over to authorities in the next country we landed in -- Cozumel, Mexico -- and would then be sent back to Cuba.
I cried watching the "rescue" then and I cry now every time I hear a patriotic song or sing the National Anthem. I am grateful that I finally understand how blessed we are to live in a free country.