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What Makes America Great

By Emily Hill, 11th grader, Idalou High School

America is a land of bountiful opportunity and freedom. It is a magnificent nation because it ensures its citizens individual freedoms and ample opportunity for success. The American experiment is unique in human history. It has resulted in liberty never seen before and in the highest standard of living ever achieved.

The very core of our nation, the Constitution, prioritizes the freedoms of the individual. The Bill of Rights assures us that every citizen deserves and shall receive fair and equal treatment from the government. As citizens, our rights and needs are protected and valued in this glorious country. The Constitution is amendable and conforms to the ever-expanding concepts of liberty. Since America was first created, our ideals have changed for the better over time. The abolishment of slavery, the right for women to vote, and our education system have changed as we have become more informed. That makes America great.

America offers endless possibilities for those willing to work. The land of the free provides limitless chances for the pursuit of happiness. In America, as a non-stratified society, one can move from a lower class to a higher class simply because America values hard, honest work. If one is willing to work hard at something and passionate about the dream, one is sure to have opportunities to achieve success in the land of liberty. This is what makes America great.

This country is heavily rooted in freedom. Thomas Jefferson, an author of the Constitution, set up a system of laws to secure individual liberty and free enterprise. The idea that the government should only step in and be involved in economic affairs where it is needed and nowhere else. We have organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration and the Securities and Exchange Commission which safeguard our food, health and economic vitality. But other than such necessary protection, the government stays out of our business and livelihoods. Business owners control how they want to conduct business. We are the captains of our own lives. That makes America great.

There have been many great Americans help us to become the great nation we are today. Eli Whitney is remembered as the inventor of the cotton gin. Harriet Tubman became known as the “Moses of her people” as she helped others gain their freedom through the Underground Railroad. Aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright expanded our world by building and flying the world’s first successful airplane. Thousands of women joined the workforce to support the war effort in World War II. Medical innovations such as the polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk helped not only America, but the world to become a better place. Sally Ride was an astronaut and physicist and became the first American woman in space. These and other Americans make America great.

In addition, many immigrants came to America and contributed to the wonderful nation we are today. Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American inventor who contributed to the design of the modern electricity supply. Albert Einstein was German born but lived in America and his work influenced the philosophy of science. Henry Kissinger was an American politician and diplomat who served as the U.S. Secretary of State and National Security Advisor to Presidents Nixon and Ford. These and many other immigrants helped America to become great.

All the previous cases are magnificent examples as to why America is a great nation. But is there any better an illustration than the men and women who serve in the military for our many freedoms? The list is endless: Audie Murphy, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Norman Schwarzkopf, Colin Powell, Eileen Collins, Kyle Carpenter and Chris Kyle. Each of these heroic Americans chose to put themselves between our enemies and our freedoms. These people make America great.

Because of all these freedoms, America is by nature a country full of confident, independent people. America consists almost entirely of hard-working leaders. The previous examples are well-known Americans beloved and admired by many. But one must also applaud the everyday American who day in and day out brings the American dream to life. That makes America great and I’m proud to be an American.

Submitted by Ancile “AL” White VFW Post 2466. This essay was written by Emily Hill and submitted to the VFW Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. Emily is a 11th grader at Idalou High School. Emily’s essay Finished 1st place at VFW Post 2466 and 1st in VFW District 19 in the Voice of Democracy.


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