What it means to be american to me

Essay by scarlettg19High School, 11th grade March 2002

download word file, 3 pages 3.8 1 reviews

Freedom and Equality for All

People in the United States differ greatly in beliefs, physical appearances, and heritage; yet, we all call ourselves Americans. After the devastating September 11 terrorist attacks, a wave of patriotism is flooding the country. We feel prouder than ever to say "I am an American," and we display flags on our houses, pins on our clothes, and magnets on our cars. But what really makes us American? What is the common factor that unites us? Is it our pride in our country? Could it be our culture and style? Maybe our liberties granted to us by the Constitution? Or is it our differences that bring us together? The definition of an American is very difficult to put in just one sentence or one thought. America spans three centuries and over eight generations. A lot has transpired in that time to make us into who we are today.

All in all, America has a very diverse society and a multitude of rights, which give us our identity.

To begin, according to Webster's, an "American" is a "citizen of the United States." This citizen has certain unalienable rights outlined by the Constitution, including the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to vote for our leaders. They have the opportunity for free public education; and ideally, to become whatever they desire, if they work hard enough. In addition, the law guarantees a fair trial regardless of race or gender; and by law, an accused person is innocent until proven guilty. Although at times laws seem to limit our rights, Americans enjoy freedoms people of other nations only imagine. In fact, we have so many freedoms, people too often take them for granted. Next, American are always trying to improve the quality of life for...