United And Proud
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Politics and Activism

United And Proud

Celebrating Independence Day strong.

United And Proud

In a country currently filled with controversy and polarization, division from political disputes and the hurt of inequality, this weekend is one in which every single American, regardless of race, religion, gender, or political affiliation can all stand together to remember what being a citizen of the United States is all about.

There is no question there have been a lot tragedies, hate crimes and debates plaguing the United States in recent history. We have argued endlessly about the potential of our future leaders, laws surrounding controversies of abortion and transgender restrooms — and the responses behind fear of terrorism and hate shootings. The Fourth of July is a time set aside for us to remember why we are able to discuss each of these things — how we were given that right and freedom when our ancestors fought for our Independence those 200 some years ago.

The United States is always at its strongest when its citizens all stand together, putting aside every one of their differences to put up a unified front to face the rest of the world. We are like a family: The siblings are all allowed to fight with each other and beat and pick, but the second that an outsider poses a threat, the siblings come to the defense of one another without hesitation. There may be turmoil bubbling across the country, but when it comes time to form a collective front, we almost always find a way.

According to globalypolicy.org, “A nation is a large group of people with strong bonds of identity”. Each citizen in this country, regardless of their heritage, skin color, religion, gender, or personal history, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and I-Don’t-Care-About-Politics, alike all have this one common identity: Being American. This identity brings all of us together to form a collective bond for a giant community. We are all Americans. That is something we can look at one another and be proud of.

While it is true that Independence Day might feel like one of the more minor holidays, occurring in a single weekend rather than being drawn out for entire months like Christmas or Halloween, it is not a holiday that should be passed over. The Fourth of July has a proud reputation of barbecues and back-yard baseball games, of fireworks with one’s family and spending time away from work to take in all that is the epitome of summer. More than that, however, it is a time for each of us to remember what has been done for us. To remember why we have the right to be who we want to be and say what we want to say. Not every citizen in every country has the opportunity to express themselves or share opinions in the same way that we do, and that is not a liberty to be taken for granted.

Does the United States still have problems? Yes. Are there still hardships for people and concerns to be addressed? Of course there are. With that said, however, Americans continue to lead pretty incredible lives, having achieved great feats and having been able to be a part of one of the most influential countries on this planet. We are our own country; not controlled by anyone else or having to report to anyone. We can say what we please (and often do), and are able to express opinions on important issues to create the changes that we want.

While there are controversies among citizens, and probably always will be, Americans have the ability to work out those differences by having a say in their own government and representation. When we don’t agree with something, we can change it. When we are scared for our children or security, we can look to our service men and women; the people who we grew up with or those who serve from across the country. We are people willing to stand up for other people, to fight for one another, and to support one another in times of tragedy. This Independence Day, let’s put aside all of the hate and all of the division, and take the time to remember that we have one collective identity. Let’s be proud to be Americans together.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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