This I Believe

a - Berrien Springs, Michigan
Entered on January 24, 2007

I believe in the importance of patriotism.

I’m from Germany and live in America. Why am I here?

Well, I thought it might be an awesome idea to spend one year as an exchange student in America. It is.

But it is really hard.

Yeah, people will say sure it is hard. You don’t have your friends here and the language is a different.

Well, sure, you think about that at most a week. It doesn’t matter after a while, you’ll find new friends and you’ll get used to the new language.

The worst thing is that a lot of people don’t know anything about Germany.

People told me about that, but they also said, it is not a big deal.

But stupid, it is! I’m sitting in the school and in almost every room is an American flag. Whole America is proud of America! And I’m, too. I love America; it is my second home now. But I also love Germany and it hurts me when people consider me a Nazi just because I’m pure German. That is crazy.

I believe in being proud of Germany even if we began both of the world wars.

It is a long time ago and I’m pretty sure we got punished enough for that. There are hardly any real Nazis left and the new generation showed how open it is to foreign countries. We open our arms friendly to everybody, but there is still the shadow of the past above our heads.

I can feel it and it seems like it follows me around and becomes visible as soon as people now that I’m German. And as soon as I mansion that I love my country, BAM that huge mark on my forehead appears which says NAZI. I’m proud, but afraid to show it because of those people.

And I believe it is with all German people.

Do you remember the world championship of soccer? It was good for us. We could be proud of our country the first time since, it feels like, forever. But the sad part about is, the shops ran out of German flags. They didn’t have enough in storage, because people usually don’t buy German flags. And as soon as the world championship was over, the flags disappeared.

But I believe it changed something in our hearts, we became proud again, and even if it is just a little piece of pride and even if it is just for ourselves in our hearts. It is still there.

I made myself a promise. I will be proud of Germany and won’t deny it anymore.

I’m happy to be German.