I believe in the United States of America.

Hannah - Las Vegas, Nevada
Entered on October 18, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

During the summer of 07’, I was given the wonderful opportunity of visiting America’s capital as well as two historical cities in Virginia, Alexandria and Williamsburg. My neighbors had moved back east and were excited for us to come so that they could show us, my sister and two other neighbors, their spin on Washington D.C. We were ecstatic. After waiting all year for this opportunity to come, we finally made it to the airport, and we finally realized that we were actually going. We were actually going to the birthplace of America and we were actually going to see the capital of the United States of America. Being a history lover, this was an absolute dream come true.

As we walked off the plane after a five-hour flight, (and yes, we were itching with anticipation the entire time) we practically ran from the terminal into our beloved friends arms. Although it was 11:00 their time, we weren’t the least bit tired, (although that was only because it was about 8:00 our time). The next morning the jet lag finally hit us and we finally got moving at about noon. The first stop that we hit was the home of President George Washington, the famous Mount Vernon. The beauty of the fields and buildings hit me. And hit me hard. The beautiful home had stood the ravage of time and existed just as it had in the 1700’s. When I realized that President Washington had to give up this home to take care of our country, I almost cried. As I walked throughout the beautifully decorated house, I imagined myself in President Washington’s footsteps. Almost wanting to touch the floor, I felt myself drawn into my surroundings; I felt so proud to be apart of this country.

The Archives were another part of our stop on the day’s agenda and this was by far so very exciting to me. As we entered the rotunda, the first thing that we saw was the amazing Magna Carta, which was signed in the 1200’s. Again I was amazed by the preservation of this document. As we waited our turn in the line to see the documents, I got my camera out to get ready to take pictures of the documents. The Declaration of Independence was the first of the most important documents that was in the line. As we grew nearer, my anticipation grew. As we finally pushed our way through the crowd to see the document, I frowned in frustration, trying to make out the faint handwriting. Although I knew what it said, it still made me angry that I couldn’t read it with my own eyes.

That day I realized how much I am grateful for the country that I live in and for the great men that made it possible for me to live in it today. This wonderful country made religious freedom possible, a democracy real and individual liberty achievable.