Yes, Virginia, you can be proud of US!

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Yes, Virginia, there is an Uncle Sam.

He is one of the most iconic symbols of our great country.

There are many different versions of how he became a symbol of our patriotism and love for these United States of America, but one of the most credible accounts is that he came into being around the time of the War of 1812.

A legend traced to Troy, N.Y., theorizes that "Uncle Sam" was derived from Samuel Wilson, a local meatpacker who supplied rations for American soldiers during the war.

But Virginia, the origins of where "Uncle Sam" came from don't matter.

What does matter is that you remember "Uncle Sam" stands for the greatest darn country in the world.

And let no one tell you otherwise.

To those who say you should be ashamed to be an American, say nothing.

Why? Because your mama and your grandmamma always said, "If you've got nothing nice to say, say nothing."

To those who say America has done bad things like allowing slavery or displacing Native Americans, you might just say, "growing up everyone makes mistakes" or "you can't change the past."

Remember, if you happened to live in what is now Great Britain around 100 AD, you could have easily been captured by Romans legions and taken back to Rome as slaves.

Slavery has been around since time began. Don't let anybody diminish or define you or your country's worth because it was permitted here 155 years ago.

And there have been mass migrations since time began. Did you ever wonder who was here when the Native Americans came across what is now the Bering Strait land bridge from Asia thousands of years ago and settled in what is now the United States?

So Virginia, stand proud for old Uncle Sam. Wave that flag! Go to that parade. Salute the brave men and women who have defended our country over the years. Remember the ones who died on distant shores. And raise a toast to the greatest country on Earth.

Yes, Uncle Sam's done all right for a lot of people of all colors, ethnic backgrounds, religions and even political party affiliations for 242 years.

Happy Fourth of July, Virginia!

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