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  • Grace Livingston

What Makes America Great?

Portland High School junior Grace Livingston read her essay below, “What Makes America Great” at this morning’s Veterans Day Recognition Event at Portland High School.

Imagine a barbecue on a hot Summer day laughing and joking with your family. Singing off-key with friends while music is blasting from the car, that's what makes America great. The people you pass on the street with a friendly hello. When you travel and meet someone from your state and you both know its pop, not soda is that's what makes America great. It's the fourth of July when everyone in America celebrating. What makes America great is its people. Americans make America great because they have and get to have such a variety of cultures, ideas, and beliefs. Not only that but America has people that are willing to fight to protect our freedoms and our country every day.

Almost every American has had ancestors or even recent family that has moved from other countries. America has citizens from almost every region of the world which has created a huge blend of culture. That Blend of culture is why America got nicknamed the melting pot. This blend of culture has created at times a society that is often separated because new things can be strange or alarming. But when the times were we are accepting, we create a unique atmosphere. “Culture differences should not separate us from each other, but rather cultural diversity brings a collective strength that can benefit all of humanity ” Robert Alan. A blend of culture doesn’t have to harm our nation it can strengthens it. It’s what created rock’n roll, jerky, apple pie, American folk art, American football, and an industry that comprises one-third of worldwide media and entertainment, all which could not be accomplished without people .(Zimmermann). America is great because it gives us the freedom to experience diverse cultures with opportunities to come together and create something new with different styles, arts, and food. Americans should embrace the freedom to experience different cultures and become more accepting so together we can thrive uniquely.

Along with different cultures come different ideas and beliefs. Different ideas and beliefs can make it very difficult for things to run smoothly. All the different ideas and beliefs can make people butt heads; it’s what created our different political parties. But as the saying goes "you don't know what you don't know. And you don't know how much you don't know." When you grow you realize that not everyone has the same ideas and beliefs as you which can, Different ideas and beliefs can bring knowledge and understanding for example, if you had one person you might only have two solutions to a problem but if you had a group of people you could have much more solutions. And different beliefs give choices and who doesn't like choices. Like most things, there can be negative aspects to different ideas and beliefs but we need to also remember benefits of them. America is great because it allows us to have and practice different ideas and beliefs.

The freedom to practice and embrace different cultures, ideas and beliefs would not be possible without the people that protect those freedoms. We have many freedoms,as Americans we get to live in the land of the free but only because of the brave. “ With courage and character, American soldiers continue to put themselves on the line to defend our freedom, and so many have paid the ultimate sacrifice.” Dan Lipinski. Last year my brother joined the army, he had 9 weeks of basics than his additional training both of which was a total of around 7 months. He graduated last May and now live 8 hours away. It was a bittersweet moment we were extremely proud of him but sad to have him and his family leave. It wasn't easy for my sister-in-law to adjust to a new lifestyle or my nieces to a new school.To get use to over 100 degree heat in the summer. Next year they will adjust have to another huge change as my brother will be deployed. American soldiers and their families make sacrifices so the rest of America can live comfortably and enjoy their freedoms and thats what makes America great.

American's make America great because they have such and get to have such a variety of cultures, ideas, and beliefs. A variety of culture gives America unique styles, food, art, and music. Different ideas and beliefs give more solutions and options.Not only that but America has Americans that are willing to fight to protect ours and others freedom. American soldiers and families go through a lot to protect the freedoms we often take for granted. I think we should appreciate each other and America. Not everything is perfect but that's the beauty of it if you don't like something you have the ability to change it.

Works Cited

“American Culture: Traditions and Customs of the United States.” LiveScience, Purch,

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