As a child I never questioned the religious beliefs that forced me to be the outcast when all the children said the Pledge of Allegiance every morning at school. As an adult, those religious beliefs became less important, but the stories of racism and struggle that my family had shared with me throughout the years were still seared in my heart. America had failed my family, generation after generation, and in doing that America had failed me. It always upset me when people would say, “slavery and racism was so long ago, you shouldn’t hold grudges, just forget about ...
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...rall American consensus. I am proud of what my country did that day, and I have the self satisfaction of knowing that I was a part of that. The hope for my future as an American is so much brighter, and I have a positive outlook for children’s future as American citizens. I am able to now trust in the process of our political system and I have a renewed faith in my country. I write our soldiers who are fighting for us overseas, and I am able to express my gratitude to them for risking their lives day in and day out. Although, I still do not say the Pledge of Allegiance or sing our National Anthem. I have a deeper respect for what this nation stands for and the changes that have been made over the years. I am a happier person now, and I am able to respect the patriotism of those around me. I am a better person, and the American people helped to make me that way.
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