Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Celebrate America with you!

As an American literature teacher I rejourney through our American history every year with my students. As we move through the political pieces of the Revolutionary War with Patrick Henry and Ben Franklin and moved towards the Post Modern Era of today we often discuss what is an American today.

At a time when our country is so in conflict with one another, I am often reminded through their insight and what I can recall seeing at horrific times like 9/11 and the  Boston marathon bombing what makes America so great. Our student body represents over 25 different countries. I teach students of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and so many other religious faiths. Our students literally represent the melting pot of what is America. Some are rich, some are poor, and others are middle class. Our goal is to celebrate excellence through diversity everyday.

And like the little representation of America that they are some are hard workers and embrace the beauty of what America is with its opportunties. But many of them also expressed frustration, which within our classroom was directed at their peers but within our society is sometimes directed at our fellow Americans, towards those that take for granted the freedoms and opportunties that others have fought, died, and won for us. They saw and resented the sometimes spoiled, entitled attitude that at times smears the American identity. What they chose, what we all choose I think,  to see as the true American, whether natural born or an immigrant citizen that comes here for a better future, is someone who works hard for himself, his family, and others; who siezes the wonderful opportunties that this country has worked so hard to provide for its citizens; is someone who stands strong for his or her beliefs even if they are at first standing alone; who accepts diversity because America fights for the good of all of humanity.

As a teacher of our youth, as an American, and more so as a mother, I have concerns for our future, especially during these very troubling times but I cling to my optimism that America will prevail. That no matter our political disagreements we will do what is right in the end because we are the land of the free and value equality for all. We will do what needs to be done to provide a safer and better tomorrow for our future and our children. The unity that shines through in the toughest of times like 9/11 and the recent Boston Marathon attacks show that we will stand strong; that we will overcome. Our politicians will remember it is not about a win/loss score for their political party but it is about what is good for the American people. The people that chose them to represent them by upholding their rights, by protecting them, and providing them the opportunities for each of us to find our own American greatness.  And then it is on each of us to maximize those rights and opportunties. Men and women put their lives on the line every day domestically and abroad to protect our rights and keep this the land of the free and what better way to honor them and every person that ever died fighting for our freedoms and protection than to fulfill our own. Be an American-stand tall with and for our fellow man and find our greatness. If not for ourselves then for everyone else that died for that chance. God bless, America! Happy Independence Day, America!

Thanks to my dad, grandpa Williams, and grandpa Morgante (RIP) for fighting for our American rights!