This I Believe

Robyn - Pekin, Illinois
Entered on April 9, 2007

This I Believe..

Americanism-The Freedom to Choose

Americanism is the love for or devotion to America.

Americanism represents people who love this county and support the country’s authority and interests.

Americanism is the freedom to choose and the integrity to make the right choices. Choices that bring about justice, fairness and equality for all our people. It all began with independence.

Have you ever wondered what happened to the men who signed the Declaration of Independence? What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were jurists or lawyers. Eleven were merchants. Nine were farmers or plantation owners. The others were pillars standing beside these men.

These were men of prosperity and education, yet they signed the Declaration of Independence, knowing full well the penalty would be death if they were captured by the British.

These men portrayed the perfect example of Americanism and the freedom to choose.

The freedom to choose the course of our own lives is our most precious asset.

We have been given the ability to decide what we want to buy or where we shop. We have the ability to decide what show we watch on television or what book to read.

Whether to walk, ride a motorcycle, take a bus or drive a gas-guzzling monster truck, that choice is part of our freedom in America. We can choose to believe in God, hundreds of gods, a mystic frog or nothing at all.

We can choose to help the less fortunate, paint our car using a spray paint, become a workaholic or get a pet rock and call it “Bob.”

I have the freedom to write this essay and express my opinion. It’s my choice what I write.

We have the choice as Americans to own a flagpole and proudly fly the American flag.

One evening last summer, we were driving out of our neighborhood when we noticed a military honor guard in front of a flag pole in a neighbor’s front yard.

The flag was flying at half staff. My mom pulled over and rolled the window down. An honor guard was playing “Taps” in honor of a veteran who had just passed away.

The veteran’s family was assembled on the front porch and his widow nearby. My mom and I sat there in silence. We were thinking about what a sacrifice he made for his country by being in the military. How important this must have been to him and his family.

I wanted his family to know how important it was to me that he willingly defended my freedom and made the choice to defend his country.

Although I did not know him, I knew what he stood for. I will always remember that day and how I felt that very moment. That feeling was Americanism.

The veteran stood for one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all. He stood for our country and our choices. His memory will always stand for “Americanism – the Freedom to Choose.”

This I believe.