What Your Family and Community Really Mean to American Creed
Throughout this essay, I focus on my Irish family history and military community to describe a personal meaning of American Creed, and what life is like in the United States today.
Much like any other American, I am too of the descent of immigrants, and these roots in my community signify the braided bands of culture in America as many know it. Despite every scientific difference a DNA test will tell, common goals and relation in America shape who I am, and on a larger scale, our country. So, American Creed, though visible in every telling of history, is seen in my diversified, yet consistent family and community life.
Even today, I am in awe of the fact that my grandparents are truly Irish. As insignificant as that may seem, through my Irish-native grandparents, I am lucky enough to catch the meaning of American Creed through a different, personal lens. For all immigrants, the Oath of Allegiance is required to obtain citizenship, stating: “I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” This oath is one of the biggest examples of commitment to one’s country shared not just among all immigrants, but Americans alike. With this in mind, it is hard to imagine my grandparents in today’s terms under-going this process, as their ties to Ireland still reign strong. For this reason, American Creed symbolizes loyalty found in connection to my family, yet the individual cultures expressed within every community in the United States. Furthermore, with frequent visits and homeland ties, it is valid to state that my grandparents’ history is deeply connected to Ireland and America too. Some will disagree with this logic, but is that not what America has upheld for most of its history? With out a doubt, from its very founding to present day, the United States is build upon people and cultures of mixed descent. Continuing with ideas as such, my family represent American Creed through commitment to our country, yet the safe haven of cultures of many origins.
One could describe where I live as a military town, where everybody knows somebody nearby who has, or still is serving. With the military base grounding as a centric force in jobs, families, and an ideology relative to aspects of American Creed, I believe my community is strongly impacted in expression of common American belief. One of the best ways of conveying this meaning is through how “you learn to lean on your neighbors… When good things happen, they rejoice with you. When bad things happen, they are the first to lend a hand in any way they can” (Sicard). This portrays how hospitality and togetherness of American people make up a definitive part of American Creed. Building upon this frequency, family and friends exemplify only a small portion of what many would like to believe stretches from every border in the United States: a sense of community. Community can very literally mean the people, places, or things found in surroundings. On the other hand, community holds the deeper significance that all Americans hold dear to identity. This meaning can be represented through challenges of political, economical, and ethnical differences that ignite characteristics praised as being truly profound to the United States. For reasons like these, my hometown paints the picture of America as a giving tree, connected by branches of utmost important core similarities shared by all American citizens.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson puts it, “Our whole history appears like a last effort of divine providence on behalf of the human race.” This puts forth the lasting idea that the United States is built upon the concepts that shape American Creed and, most importantly, the life it holds for citizens, including the glue that pieces together family and community into the meaning of an American. Even today, with obvious tension in policy, government, and our founding doctrine, American Creed stands as symbol of the best qualities of all Americans alike.
Sicard, Sarah. “What it’s Really Like Growing Up in A Military Town.” Task & Purpose, 21 March 2016
Vickery, Colin. “Aussies Need Fair Go to Create Our Own Land of Opportunity.” Herald Sun, 11 September 2011
“Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America.” US Citizenship and Immigration Services, Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security