It was dark out, not dark enough that you couldn't see where you were going but dark enough to make sure you payed attention to where you were going. My family and I were hurrying across the beach, chairs and sparklers in hand. We were dodging people, walking more towards the water. We saw the perfect spot and put our chairs down, marking our territory. After we set up our chairs, we sat down and got our sparklers ready. We lit them as the chairs began to sink into the sand. Everyone around was wearing necklaces, light-up glasses and even hats. You could see various boats out in the water anchoring out, they too were ready along with the crowd. The first bang and glow of light emerged in the sky, It was the Fourth of July on the Oscoda Beach Pier.
When it’s the Fourth of July, most Americans connect the holiday with the United States being founded by the founding fathers. As for most people, that’s the main purpose of the Fourth of July. Many people travel, visit family, drink alcoholic beverages and shoot off fireworks. Along with having fun and looking forward to a fireworks show, people should not only think of America but also everything that has been accomplished in America. There's many success stories that have changed the World that have all been connected by the country in which they live. Some examples of these success stories include those of Judy Curran, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Henry Ford.
Let’s start with Judy Curran. Curran is an electrical engineer at Ford Motor Company. She is from Metro Detroit and studied at Lawrence Technological University. At a talk I attended on the Lawrence Tech campus, she mentioned several different struggles she faced while in college as well as working in the engineering field as a woman. She mentions that she was often looked at weird or even talked about because lots of her peers and coworkers didn’t think that a girl could work as an engineer, especially working in the auto industry. She mentioned that she really didn’t take those comments to heart because she knew that she would do whatever it took to prove those people that a woman can grow up to be an engineer, she can work in the auto industry and she can change the world. Later in her discussion, she mentioned that she has grown through Ford to the point where she basically designed the overall electronics systems in the 2006-2010 Ford Explorer. From Curran’s discussion, she shows the example of what can be accomplished. While some see her as a woman working in the wrong field, I see a woman who was judged and criticized that rose up to the point where she set her mind to a goal, worked to achieve that goal and finally reached that goal. She proves that anything is possible, no matter what gender you are, what you look like or anywhere in between. Curran shows that a sense of self drive and hard work needs to be acknowledged around the country to inspire and support current and future generations.
Steve Jobs was a technological genius. He was born in Palo Alto, California. He, along with Steve Wozniak, had a vision of having a computer for everyone. With a computer, the possibilities at the time were new and revolutionary. Steve Jobs helped create the products today known as the Mac computers, the iPhone and the iPod as well as many more. Jobs went through many hardships throughout his life and his company. He was so driven to perfecting his products and company that many of his Apple teammates eventually resigned and left the company because they couldn’t handle his pushy and direct relationship in order to progress his company. Seen as a pushy, inconsiderate jerk by some people, I admire Steve Jobs because he drove to create products that are incredibly innovative for many people to use and make those products even more innovative. Jobs helped revolutionize how people interact, entertain and communicate with each other. Jobs represents American passion. Passion towards a common goal, passion to do whatever it takes to reach that goal and the passion to change the world for the better.
Bill Gates was also a passionate innovator. He grew up and attended Harvard University, to pursue computer science. After dropping out of Harvard, Gates went back to his hometown of Seattle and met with Paul Allen. Together, they both created the most commonly used operating system on all computers, Microsoft Windows. In my opinion, Gates shows the idea of not giving up. Although he dropped out of college, he still pursued his dream of being a computer scientist. Where some people see Gates as an unsuccessful college drop out, I see him as revolutionary technological genius. In the United States, I believe that Gates shows that if you have a dream, continue on with it even if some things happen that are not in your favor. He also shows that an education isn’t the only way of being successful.
Henry Ford is the last American I am going to mention. As many people know, Ford founded the Ford Motor Company. What many people don’t know is that Ford worked for the company that later became the GM division of Cadillac automobiles. Ford was unhappy where he worked, he didn't see the drive he wanted to achieve in life. He left the Henry Ford Company, which later turned into Cadillac to pursue his own dream. He started the Ford Motor Company at age 39, creating one of the most successful and profitable automobile companies in the world today. From my viewpoint, I see Henry Ford as a vision of never being too old to follow your dream. Ford shows that age is just a number and you can achieve whatever you want when you want. Also, by leaving the job he didn’t enjoy, he shows that the possibilities are endless as long as you have the drive to do so in America.
The four individuals above don’t represent the entire human race in America. America struggles with problems that every country faces at one point or another. Many individuals may think that the Fourth of July is just centralized around one purpose, celebrating the birthday of America but for myself, I think of Curran, Jobs, Gates, Ford and many more Americans while celebrating the Fourth of July. With their hard work and goals, they help push the success of America forward. They represent American dreams and results. There is no doubt in my mind that they are all a part of making America as successful as it is today. Next time you’re watching the firework show, think of everyone you know or look up to and celebrate them along with America.