Living in a small town in the South where I know everyone, I think of America and how grateful I am for those very, very hot days filled with friends and family supporting our favorite teams on those Friday nights. I think of the flag waving through a windy Fourth of July with hamburgers on the grill and a popsicle melting down my hand.
Some of the defining elements of American culture are liberty, equality, and individualism. Liberty is the cornerstone of these elements. Without liberty, the other components of American culture can not be truly experienced. Perhaps the greatest individual liberty of the United States is the right to vote.
The right to vote is a very important guarantee given to us by our founding fathers. While important initially, it was not perfect as it was a right only bestowed upon certain white, male, property owners. Being able to vote is a privilege I most grateful for. As a result of the evolution of this sacred right, the right to vote, ALL Americans now enjoy the freedom to vote for candidates of our choosing. The collective voice of the American people are able to influence the outcome of elections at the federal, state, and local levels of government, a powerful freedom and liberty that is only enjoyed by very few countries in the world.
The American Creed goes far beyond the flag and the Pledge of Allegiance. The flag is a symbol of every citizen in this world who died fighting for our freedom and who are still fighting. If you have never been to your grandparents house on a hot day or had a cook-out with the American flag waving through the wind, then you haven't experienced the South’s 4th of July celebration. Being in the South I am most grateful for these days. You spend the day with family eating hamburgers, and late that night shoot fireworks through the night sky. Being from the South we always make sure we have red, white, and blue fireworks shot at the same time.
These symbols have a huge impact on our daily lives. I am proud to go to a school where we recite the Pledge every morning before school. We say the Pledge at all sporting events such as baseball, football, softball, basketball, and more. In the South we never forget what the flag means to us and our country and what it represents. I am grateful to be from a small town in the South so these symbols of freedom and America have become a part of who I am.