Essay on Proud To Be An American

Essay on Proud To Be An American

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The presidential election of 2008 was the first time in my thirty five years of life that I was proud to be an American. I was raised in a religion that strictly forbid participation in our earthy government, but rather encouraged dedication to our Creator. As I became an adult, and left this religious organization, my continued refusal to participate became a deeply personal choice and preference. As a bi-racial American, how was I to respect a government that for so many years not only allowed but encouraged the mistreatment of minority groups? How could I pledge allegiance to a flag that to me represented brutality and inequality that I had come to despise? I never considered myself Anti-American, but preferred to view it as me being passive or possibly uncommitted. I have never in my life said the Pledge of Allegiance. I have never sung the National Anthem of the United States. I have never raised the American Flag on a flagpole. I have never considered joining the armed forces to defend my country. Having the opportunity to vote for a bi-racial president forced me to reevaluate my beliefs and values. In that one day, given that one opportunity, I was changed.
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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