America the Beautiful

C. - Napoleon, Ohio
Entered on December 12, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

“O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed his grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood. From sea to shining sea!” Almost every American has heard this verse, but are they listening to what it’s saying? Is America still the beautiful place described in this song? I’ve started to look around and notice my surroundings, and I can honestly say that I’m not seeing the beautiful country I always thought we had. Recently, I received an email from a friend with this quote: “Oh Beautiful for smoggy skies, insecticided grain, for strip-mined mountain’s majesty, above the asphalt plain. America! America! Man sheds his waste on thee, and hides the pines with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea!” While this might be a little extreme, I believe if we don’t do something soon our beautiful country will permanently be the disgusting place this quote describes.

Everywhere I go, I can pick out forms of pollution. Whether it is a man throwing trash out a car window or the fumes that car is emitting, pollution is constantly destroying this country and the world. What many people don’t realize is that the time to take action is now. If we don’t act soon, when will we? The longer we wait, the harder it will be to reverse the damage that has already been done. Don’t get me wrong; there are things being done already. The problem is, they aren’t being done at a large enough scale. Recycling is a great example of this, there are people who do it, but, for it to work, many others need to join in too.

When it comes down to it, I believe my generation will be the one faced with finding an answer to problems like global warming and pollution. Past generations have tried and have made huge amounts of progress, but much more still needs to be done. In the end we have two options: we either can find a way to stop the destruction of our planet, or stand back and watch it deteriorate away around us. I believe that we should fight back and make America and this world beautiful once again.