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As human beings, we are subject to the many flaws, desires, and aspirations that accompany mortality. We find ourselves in this world today, surrounded by brothers, sisters, friends, and strangers, all of whom which we share common mannerisms, but different opinions, needs, and point of views. Some of us are skilled in language, others in mathematics, some of us peace loving, others aggressive. There is no end to the sea of varieties in which the human population coexists. But one characteristic that all of man kind possesses, is the yearning to follow our dreams, and reach for the stars, taking that leap of faith which allows us to reach our goals.
Around the world, people struggle daily to live their lives as they would like, to be themselves, and to choose their own destinies. In some countries, every action the citizens take is dictated by their government, the public lives in fear, going to sleep at night and wondering if they will wake up in the morning and in some countries people are even murdered for speaking their minds. Our world, on the whole, looks bleak through the eyes of the millions of these terror ridden individuals. But out of the chaotic darkness of these frenzied nations, stands a safe harbor, a land of the free, a beacon of hope, and a place where life can be lived to the fullest. We, as citizens of the United States of America, live freely under the red, white, and blue of the Star Spangled Banner. Red symbolizing hardiness and valor, white symbolizing purity and innocence, and blue symbolizing vigilance, perseverance, and justice.
Under our nation’s colors we have the agency to choose our leaders, choose our lifestyles, and choose what we stand for. America is freedom, America is equality, America is justice, and America is progression. Since July 4, 1776, our country has been laboring diligently to create a safe, happy nation, where every man has a place and is welcomed in.
But like any other nation, the United States didn’t start out how it is today, and it has only been through much trial and tribulation that we have reached the level of liberty that we are presently at. It is only when our nation has endured the refiner’s fire that we claim those precious rights, and still we are working continually towards the goal of perfection.
Indeed, America is freedom. This country was established by a group of colonists who had fled the monarchy of England, and were searching for a land of their own, one that represented every individual’s wants and desires. Through great hardship the early Americans fought for our nation against England’s rule. In the Revolutionary War, thousands died for the dream that their children might grow up and go through life as they desired, with an equal say in how their government was run. It was a hard and gruesome war, one that we recognize the end of every July 4th, our Independence Day, where we celebrate that blessed freedom that our ancestors fought and died for.
Through the Constitution of the United States of America, we are given the freedom to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, freedom of speech, freedom of press, right to bear arms, right to gather, and many, many more wonderful rights, which soldiers still defend to this day.
At this time now, every man has equal rights in society, but before the Civil Rights Movement, African Americans were often treated as lesser individuals. They couldn’t vote, they couldn’t enter certain buildings, they couldn’t go to the same schools as white girls and boys, and they didn’t have the same job opportunities as white citizens did. But through the works of many marvelous revolutionaries such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. they were granted those freedoms, and the bonds of segregation were slowly lifted. Dr. Martin Luther King was an African American Christian minister who stood up for the rights of African Americans everywhere, and got the ball rolling for many changes in the U.S. government. He was a great inspirational speaker, who preached unity, integration, and peace for all races.
In his famous address at the March on Washington, he said “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal… I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character… I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.”
Through boycotts, sit ins, marches, protests, freedom riding, and other actions, the African American revolutionists like King, Malcom X, Rosa Parks, and many others, gained the right of equality for their people, and those rights still stand firm today.
America is justice. Throughout the years, our adjudicators have vowed to rule in justice and honesty to ensure righteousness for all people in the court of law. There are many, many examples of this in the past. One foremost of these is Brown vs. Board of Education, in which an 8 year old African American girl by the name of Linda Brown was forced to go to an “all African American” school. The condition of the school was in a horrific state, and it was a long bus ride away from her house, while her white neighbors went to a nearby, clean “all white” school. The unfairness of this situation both physically, and educationally to the black children was presented to the Supreme Court, who ruled in favor of Brown, and noted that “separating children from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone.” After this decision, Brown and many other African American students were permitted into “all white” schools, and given the justice that they deserved. To this day, the courts rule fairly against all kinds of issues such as racism, sexism, and many others.
America also stands for progression. Since the beginning of our country, the United States of America has continued to build upon its standards, increasing the rights of the citizens, and moving forward towards the most ideal realm, where the populace coexists in harmony, feeling that their needs have been met. We, as a country, are constantly advancing technologically, industrially, physically, medically, and scientifically. If you compare the lives of the public in early America to the lives of those in the present day, there is no denying the great strides we have made, moving ahead in all of those subjects. We have discovered electricity, invented the light bulb, the telegraph key, the artificial heart, the computer system, the airplane, the technology for space travel, and much, much more. We have become, and still are becoming a brighter, more complex society, with the many growths that have and are still taking place in our country.
Freedom, equality, justice, and progression combined make the United States of America such a magnificent country to live in. We are so lucky to have so many natural rights that allow us to live utterly happy lives. We must not take our good fortune for granted, while there are still other places on this planet where the human populace lives restrictively. This lush way of life has only been established for us by the sacrifices and hard work of those who have gone before us, and we must continue to fight to keep these blessings so that our children and our children’s children will have the rights that we have come to love and cherish so much. We must labor diligently to preserve this mighty nation in all its glory, from sea to shining sea.