I believe our responsibility begins the minute we feel our American pride for the first time. For some, it is watching the Olympics and seeing our country’s elite dominating all competition. For others, it is watching a tower crumble to the ground on American soil based an act of hatred. For me, it was in third grade at a Veteran’s Day assembly. We all had practiced our songs a million times and made sure we were on our best behavior. The assembly began, I do not recall anything up until the end when the lights went dark, The words, “The red is for the blood, The blue is for the bruise” began to be sung, followed by a video.I had heard the song hundreds of times, not truly paying attention to what the words meant, but this time when it was sung, I felt the pride that so many Americans feel for their country. The light from the video had been shining on every veteran in that building. Every single veteran in that room was proudly standing, some crying, some with their hands over their hearts, and others simply smiling. It had occurred to me, in that moment that the words being sung were not fictional. They were real, raw words that had the power to bring back memories and give pride. That moment was not just the first moment I felt pride for my country, it was the moment I had subjectively been given the responsibility to give back to my country.
Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote in an undelivered address to the American people, “with great power involves great responsibility”. Depending on each individual’s experiences, we all owe something different. I have seen so much beauty in this country. I have seen happiness, hope, kindness, inspiration, and love. I have seen people unite through tragedy and terrorism. I have seen our country...
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...My responsibility as an American citizen is so much more than what is required of us. Through the freedoms this country offers me I have been taught by wonderful teachers. I have been nursed back to health by distinguished doctors and nurses. I have been able to practice my faith with the help of incredible youth ministers and pastors. Because of these freedoms I am granted through my country, I am able to live a free life. That is why, like how the veterans and us young children in that Veteran’s Day assembly years ago, I choose to stand. I choose to stand for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I choose to stand for our freedoms. I choose to stand for the American dream. I choose to stand for the United States of America, the greatest nation in the world, full of opportunity and freedom. And that is my most basic responsibility to America, to stand for it.
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