What does it mean to be American?

Topics: United States, United States Declaration of Independence, Human rights / Pages: 2 (590 words) / Published: Oct 1st, 2004
What it means to be American

People in the United States differ greatly in beliefs, physical appearances, and heritage; yet we all call ourselves Americans. We feel prouder than ever to say "I am American," raising American flags, wearing symbolic shirts, and showing true patriotism. But what really makes us American? What is the common factor that unites us? Is it our pride in our country? Our culture and style? Or maybe it is our liberties granted to us by the constitution? America spans three centuries and over eight generations. A lot has transpired in that time to make us into who we are today. All in all, America has a very diverse society and a multitude of rights, which give us our identity.

An American is a "Citizen of the United States." This citizen has certain unalienable rights outlined by the constitution, including the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to vote for our leaders. This citizen has the right to bear arms, they have the opportunity for free public education, and the right to protest. They also have the right to express opposing views.

Being an American means enjoying more security, freedom, and liberty than any other nation in the world. Americans have the opportunity to become what ever they desire, and they can choose their future, whether they are successful or not. People have the freedom to do as they want to do, and say what they want to say. Therefore, being an American means you have "the quality or state of being free." As Andrew Jackson says, "Freedom is fragile and must be protected. To sacrifice it, even as a temporary measure is to betray it." Freedom is not something that should be taken for granted.

For a person to be a true American, they also must have pride in their country. They must show general respect and patriotism. They must cherish our flag and what it represents: Freedom and Equality for All. Being American means to be grateful of the country our ancestors provided for us. Showing true

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