This I Believe

Thomas - Crestwood, Kentucky
Entered on January 31, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

America has endured everything. From civil wars to racism, our nation has been put through many tests, proving its resilience with every tragedy and with every hardship. We have risen from an unruly land to become the most powerful, influential nation in the world. Through all sorts of faults we have picked ourselves back up and righted our wrongs. I believe in America. I have faith that we, as Americans and as a nation, have the ability to jump back from the mistakes that we make or the troubles that we face, holding our heads up high as the great nation that we are.

In reading a book on American history, it may seem that our nation suffers from a trend of being unable to go even twenty years without some serious political problem. This disappointing fact is proof of all that America has endured; proof of the country’s ability to leap out of devastating times to once again achieve greatness. In the 1930s, America hit its greatest economic depression ever, but over time, the nation repaired itself and became one of the greatest economic powers in the world. During the mid 1950s and ‘60s, America, a nation of immigrants, saw racism and segregation firsthand, but because of freedoms guaranteed to them by the Constitution, different people put themselves in dangerous positions, fighting for, and eventually winning, their rights.

It may seem that being only fourteen years old I should not have much passion for the belief in America’s rebounding abilities. I may not have experienced World War II, I may be completely confused by the Watergate Scandal, but I did witness one of recent history’s most influential events. I did witness 9/11. I watched people dive from the building; I saw the towers collapse; and I, and every other person living in the world today, am living the aftermath. It had been many years since America had seen anything as tragic as the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and the nation was not accustomed to dealing with disaster. Despite our vulnerability to such a vicious attack, the people of America jumped up. Firefighters responded to the call without skipping a beat, risking their own lives for the sake of others. From coast to coast, all sorts of people went up to New York to help with the cleanup cause. America bounded back from the tragedy and is now at war with the people who caused it.

Studying American history instills a sense of pride in me. Knowing that many people sacrificed their lives to make our nation what it is makes me proud to be part of the story. Recognizing all that America has survived and witnessing it bounce back from its biggest tragedy in modern times gives me faith in the American way of life. I believe that America can endure and undertake any challenge in its way. This country has done it many times in the past and will undoubtedly do it in years to come.