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What Makes America Great?

By Reid McCaleb, 7th grade, homeschooler

There has been an excessive amount of talking over recent years about making America great again. While obstacles to freedom and unity present themselves frequently among our citizens, at our very foundation lie the ideals of American greatness. Harry S. Truman effectively expressed this sentiment of what not only made America great at its foundation but still makes America great today. “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.”

Greatness can be found in the courageous acts of many Americans who did not allow their fear to stand in the way of their passion for freedom. Colonists braved the unknown and possible death to pursue a life free of an overreaching government. Rosa Parks boldly spit in the face of racial segregation when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. Members of the United States Armed Forces volunteer to courageously defend the freedoms of, not only American citizens, but that of the world.

Imagination, paired with courage, has resulted in many great advancements enjoyed by American citizens. George Washington Carver, an early American scientist and inventor, dedicated his life to education and creativity. Henry Ford revolutionized American industrialization with the assembly line. Martin Luther King Jr. imagined an America filled with racial equality and gave his life in the pursuit of this dream. Steve Jobs’ technological innovations have completely transformed the way we live, work, and communicate.

The greatness of unbeatable determination to do the job at hand can be found in many different segments of American life. Retired US Army Captain Chad Fleming embodies all that is unbeatable determination. After losing his leg in a combat mission, heroic Capt. Fleming redeployed five times becoming one of the few amputees able to redeploy into combat.

American first responders provide constant assistance, through unbeatable determination, to serve and protect all citizens. The persistence and steadfastness that my Dad exhibits in his pursuit of giving his children opportunities and a better life inspires me to achieve greatness in all my endeavors.

I, along with other Americans, must constantly pursue courage, imagination, and unbeatable determination to maintain the greatness of this nation.

The responsibility of greatness rests on all Americans who enjoy its benefits.

Submitted by Ancile “AL” White VFW Post 2466. This essay was written by Reid McCaleb and submitted to the VFW Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. Reid is a 7th grader homeschooler. Colby’s essay Finished 3rd place out of 208 in the Voice of Democracy.


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