My American Experience

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Zach Colton
Humanities

My American Experience

The “American Experience” is one that is not only defined by historical events that take place throughout one’s lifetime, but is an experience that can also be determined through one’s own personal journey and how it reflects back on the American ideals, customs, and political/social aspects of their life. Through my own short lifetime, I have witnessed many events that have shaped who I am and how I view myself in relation to being an “American.”

Growing up in Danville has provided a mixed bag of exposure to what being an American means to me. My first memory of this is going to the Danville 4th of July Parade every year, starting when I was three. I remember holding the American Flag and feeling a sense of community. I was surrounded by my friends and family, and as I got older I felt a sense of patriotism.

When September 11th occurred, I was in 4th grade. I remember walking downstairs that morning and watching MSNBC with my parents and viewing the images of the Twin Towers falling. I was confused and I didn’t understand what was going on at the time. It was a turning point in my life that made me realize that the world was not as perfect as I perceived it to be and that the ugly truth of “terrorism” existed and was evident in my life. The safety that I had felt at our “Hometown Parade” was gone. It hit close to home because a parent at our school (and friend of our family), perished in the Twin Towers that day. From then on, it seemed to me that everything in our world had changed, and related to September 11th. It always seems to go back to that ugly day; I question whether Osama Bin Laden’s goal was met by “rocking the free world” of the United States.

Something else that has contributed to my “American Experience”, has taken place in my work place. I work for Ahart Aviation, which is located at the Livermore Airport. I have worked there for almost three years. Ahart caters to...
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