Opportunity, Education, Freedom, and Happiness

Brian - Poland, Ohio
Entered on September 2, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Among the many beliefs I hold in my life, there is one in particular that stands out for me. I believe that the United States of America is the best place in the world to live. This country offers me many freedoms, because it is a democracy. For example, it allows me to vote for a leader who I feel will guide our country in a positive way. I am also given the opportunity to obtain a good education, which I can use to find a job anywhere in the world. In addition, I have the right to choose a religion, speak my ideas, and celebrate my culture and heritage. Few other countries give their people these freedoms and opportunities.

I have visited many important places in our country that further support my belief that the United States of America is the best place to live. I have been to historical sites such as Yorktown, Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Washington D.C. Many people, myself included, visit these places to see where men fought to protect our country. I have observed that these proud people visit and respect these sites, because they recognize the sacrifices that numerous people have made for our country. This strengthens my belief and proves that this is one of the most patriotic countries in the world. Also, my visits to Washington D.C. reminded me of the many extraordinary people in our history, such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. I am proud to know that the United States was governed by many brave and brilliant minds throughout history.

Even though my visits to these places were great, there was a less known, important person in my life, my grandfather, who truly made me realize how great our country is. My grandfather immigrated to the United States in 1947 from Italy at the age of seventeen searching for a better life. He traveled for eleven days on a ship from Rome to New York to meet his brothers who already had come here. Although he spoke no English, he became an American citizen, was drafted, and proudly served in the United States Army during the Korean War. Even though he had a tough time getting started in this new place, he still believed that the United States was the greatest country in the world. He always told me that he respected this country and was proud to be a citizen and part of the United States. He said that he never regretted his decision to leave part of his family in Italy to come to America. He would tell me of the opportunities, education, freedom, and happiness that he obtained when he came to this country, and today I realize what he meant. In conclusion, the many freedoms, opportunities, and my grandfather’s influence support my belief that the United States of America is the best place in the world to live.