To Be An American

Posted by Isabella B. Oklahoma
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I wrote this essay to explain what I think it means to "be" an American.

To Be An American

I believe that anyone can be an American.

I feel the full meaning of being an “American” is a concept that is very hard to grasp. Is it a person who was born in America? Is it a person who recognizes the opportunities that this country offers and wants to come live here? Or is it someone who is escaping the tragic events that “their” country is facing. I think the definition that is most worthy and that best fits the definition of “American” is a person that really and truly wants to be here. It doesn’t matter your race or religion; I believe anyone can be an American.

In our Constitution, it states that all men are created equal. I believe that this statement should be true but sadly know that it is not. People from all backgrounds are judged. It shouldn’t matter who you are or what your family is. America is the land of immigrants. If you think about it, unless you are a full Native American, a person indigenous to America, someone in your family came to America as an immigrant. Sitting at my desk, I look around the classroom and see nothing but diversity. You are just as much of an American, regardless if you are a 1st or 5th generation American. I believe that to be an American, it is not dependent on if you were born here.

I am a second generation American. Both of my grandparents were immigrants from Germany. My grandfather’s family went to the United Kingdom and then to Canada to escape WWII, experiencing many challenges along the way. He finally returned to Germany and met my grandmother. My grandmother’s family was intimidated by the Nazis, prejudiced and totalitarian, because of their refusal to join them. Love strengthening, they married and then moved to America to start their lives in a land where there were more human rights and freedom.

When I seriously think about America, I see it as a land where everyone comes from different places. What keeps us united is that we celebrate our differences through respecting others and understanding each other. We cooperate to solve problems when we recognize we all want the same bigger thing. We are all different people but we need to understand that anyone can belong among us and with us, and that all of our differences is what makes us America. 

Published on Oct 4, 2018
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