Unformatted text preview: Ramirez 1
22 September 2016
On July 4, 1776 a red, white, and blue flag with thirteen stripes was swung across the
bright blue sky. Two hundred thirty eight years ago, the United States of America was formed
with sacrifice and determination. In the eyes of the United States’ founding fathers and in the
eyes of future U.S generations, the American flag symbolized their freedom. The founding
fathers no longer called themselves a British Colony; instead, they called themselves
“Americans.” The U.S flag reminds one of who they are, Americans. Americans are not defined
by ethnicity, sex or color. Americans are a people who pursue freedom. Americans are those who
salute the flag with pride and appreciate those who shed blood for their country. Last but not
least, Americans are determined and go after any opportunity. Thus, Americans are free,
patriotic, and determined to accomplish great achievements.
The U.S Constitution and the Bill of Rights guarantee Americans freedom. In the United
States, a citizen is granted the right to vote for their president, government officials, and any laws
that could be passed. Thus, every American’s voice is heard through voting rights. Moreover,
Americans are guaranteed the right to freedom of speech, religion, and press. For example, in
2013 many Californians were against Proposition 8 which eliminates the rights for same sex
marriage. During that time, many Americans were furious about the proposed ballot. Hence,
many Americans were able to gather together to form a protest against California’s proposition.
They were able to unite and fight for their beliefs without any consequences, because all
Americans’ rights are protected by law. On the other hand, a group of people protesting in a Ramirez 2
place like North Korea , would most likely be imprisoned, tortured, or even sentence to death.
Thus, unlike many other countries, Americans are granted many rights.
Americans are not only defined by having rights, but by their spirit of unity, love and
appreciation towards the United States. In other words, having a true American heart is being
patriotic and having devotion for the U.S. For example, on September 11, 2001 multiple terrorist
attacks occurred in many parts of the U.S. During this time, American’s hearts were filled with
sadness as they witnessed their beloved country being attacked. This tragic event caused
Americans to see themselves as brothers and sisters; it caused them to unite, because they needed
to be strong for their country. They showed unity by swinging the American flag across the sky
while singing beautiful patriotic songs in the streets. Hence, the patriotic unity that was shown
throughout that time represents how Americans are there for each other even in the rough times.
Moreover, true Americans appreciate those who have sacrificed their lives for the country
throughout history. For example, some people may see November 11 as just another day. Others
may be glad because it is a day off of school or work, but those with true American hearts will
sincerely view that date as a day to remember the brave veterans who had fought for their
country. When the National Anthem is played, many Americans feel an appreciation for and
pride in their country. When it is time to say the Pledge of Allegiance, they will say the words
that symbolizes their freedom and their love for their country. Therefore, Americans are a united
family who show appreciation and devotion to the United States of America.
Lastly, to be an American is to have the hunger to accomplish the American Dream by
searching for new opportunities, bettering one’s self-development, and seeking a better future.
For example, John D. Rockefeller demonstrated these characteristics when he became America’s Ramirez 3
first business superstar. Raised by a single mother, Rockefeller did not start off his life owning
the Standard Oil company; in fact, Rockefeller searched for new opportunities by being a
bookkeeper for a company. With determination and hopefulness, Rockefeller used his skills and
knowledge to enter the oil business leading him to living his American Dream.(Mont 2011).
Thus, he developed his character by gaining new skills and by applying these skills to his own oil
company. John D. Rockefeller was not satisfied with himself as a person in the middle class;
instead, he worked hard to better himself. Hence, the United States is a place where Americans
can develop themselves and live the American Dream. To many refugees, America is a place
filled with opportunities. According to the narrator in the short story “America and I”, “ America
was a land of living hope, woven of dreams, aflame with longing desire… the hidden sap of
centuries would find release.”(Yezierska 15). This quote emphasizes that because America is
place to fulfill one's dream, being an American means to have the determination to accomplish
one’s American Dream.
Being an American means the guarantee of rights, to feel devotion for the United States
of America, and to have the determination to accomplish one's own American Dream. These
characteristics makes Americans distinct from all other people. Many people in other countries
do not have the right to make their own decisions. People in some countries have their voices
locked in a box. For those who lack freedom they often lack the strength to fulfill their dreams.
In contrast, Americans are a strong devoted people who use their freedom to fight for what is
right and to fulfill their dreams. Therefore, being an American does not mean just living in the
United States. It does not require a person to be a specific race or hold specific beliefs. Being an Ramirez 4
American means to be distinct from other people by having devotion for the United States of
America, where people are free to accomplish their dreams. Ramirez 5
Mont, Joe. "10 People Living the American Dream." TheStreet. N.p., 30 Nov. 2015. Web. 18 Sept.
Yesierska, Anzia. America and I. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print....
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- Fall '16