What Makes America Great?


December 4, 2019

Greatness is defined as being above average. When I look at America today, I see anything but the standard rule and here’s why. Our military is ranked top of the line safeguarding the liberties at the foundation of our country. We are free to believe and worship as we choose, we are privileged to speak the words that weigh heavy on our hearts, we have the opportunity to hold a powerful platform to influence the masses and we are encompassed by the largest democracy in the world. With commodious harbors, ample rivers, boundless forests, rich mines, and fertile fields, the United States is a country of economic prosperity, and has a one of a kind story of becoming an independent union, starting from humble beginnings as colonies and turning into a booming industrial nation. America gives us so many reasons to fall in love with her, but the primary reason for America’s greatness is its people.

Being an American means sharing a commitment to a set of values and ideals, better known as the Constitution. The Constitution constructs what it means to be a true and honest citizen of the U.S. Even though we face constant tribulations through each other’s diversity, we are willing to overlook these differences for the land we all call home. The foundation of American exceptionalism, what formed America to have such a devotion of respect for one another’s inalienable rights, is that our government was constituted through a written rule of law. The Constitution binds we the people as “one nation under God” and it establishes the American standard. With this power comes a great responsibility that each individual citizen of America can and will maintain under extraordinary measure.

From the very beginning of our nation, our Founding Fathers advised that strength can only be endowed through unity. America is where we overcome the odds of failure through the consensus of its people. For many countries, integration is marked as unity. America is composed of many vast cultures that as one together we are unwavering. When in times of crisis, the American people have an amazing capacity for adjustment, renewal, and self correction. We bear in mind that there is and always will be invasive evil trying to corrupt the masterpiece we have made out of America. When there is imperilment, we are willing to risk everything to protect the red white and blue that each American bleeds.

Pearl Harbor and 9/11 were two of the most devastating events to occur in U.S. history. Even though these events caused irrevocable grief it led to an overwhelming amount of unification and determination of America's people. In times of crisis we find comfort in the strength of one another. We take into account that when there is something threatening our country it’s going to take all of us to protect the land we love.

Throughout our history “united we stand, divided we fall” has been a recurring stanza.

My grandfather was a first generation immigrant from Canada. As I was writing my paper I asked him to recite the life that made him who he is today. My grandfather told me that the diversity and opportunity that allowed him to establish himself in America gave him hope for a better future. He explained, “It truly was the best decision that my family could have made”. My grandpa shared his excitement and pride as he transitioned into a nationalist of the greatest country in the world. As I sought out how it felt to become what I had the privilege of being my whole life, I asked my grandpa what he saw in America that he didn’t see in Canada, and he answered my question with, “I saw America as indestructible, unconquerable, and undoubtedly strong. Who wouldn’t want to be apart of that?”

In 1960 my grandpa joined The U.S. Navy, serving for two and a half years, then going into the Army. In the Army he was deployed into the 82nd Airborne Division in the Dominican Republic War. On October 8, 1965, my grandpa laid his heart on the line for the country and its people he had come to love so dearly to fight in the Vietnam War. In the midst of the brutal bloodshed his team was targeted in Asha Valley, Vietnam. Out of the twelve men on his team only he and three other men survived. Coming out of Vietnam in 1966 he felt as if had earned his American citizenship. My grandpa finished explaining to me about his history by saying this, “The relationship that I had made with many of the troops helped me recognize the undefinable line of unity that called us American soldiers, or what we would call ourselves; a band of brothers. This unity is what America is built on. It’s not to be taken for granted or neglected, because it is what makes us stronger in the end.”

What truly must be celebrated is our unity for the word ‘American’. It is too noble to be a suffix, and too important to be prefixed with any disclaimers. Every individual American needs to take pride in their personal identity. Our strength and the unity of our people is the hallmark of a flourishing society. We often fail to realize the supreme importance of our structured civilization because without it the America we love and cherish today would not be the way it is. The people of America are anything but average; they are great.


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