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What American Patriotism Is

Josiah Woltersdorf - 8th Grade - May 21, 2007 What is American Patriotism? Look around you . . . The freedoms, rights, laws, and amendments that are shared by everyone are the backbone of America. Not just a certain race or culture. Theyre not just freedoms. They are the backbone of America. I am a patriot because of the rights we possess, the history of this great nation, and the determination to serve. Our rights give us our integrity, and strength; the breaking rope of our countrys unity is held together by almost nothing except the rights our founding fathers set to keep this country from destruction. When our rights are gone, say good-bye to your life, knowing that even as fast as the twin towers fell, our very freedom will be no more. The only difference is that youll never have it back. The history of our foundation as a country is a story to give these rights meaning. History is one of the greatest topics concerning patriotism. Think about Abe Lincoln, George Washington, and the founding fathers. What was the first amendment? It was the reason the puritans sailed over from England; because they wanted freedom to believe in Christianity the way they wanted to believe in it. The history of America makes this nation stronger, and history never changes. We should keep up this, and set the course for the future with real American values and determination. The determination to serve is in many things we do. When a country needs us, we step in and help them up. We step up for our own states as in Hurricane Katrina; but also for many countries, as with the tsunami in Asia in 2004. We serve others as long as they need to and are willing to be served. This is my country and we will serve. Our rights are spelled out because of our history, and history is made today because of our willingness to give. We arent shy or evil, and we are the country whose name will be in high honor if we are courteous and treat all with equality, sheltering the needy, and remembering our great foundation as a country. This is my country, and this is why I am a United States of America Patriot.

Why I'm An American Patriot

Benjamin Forshee - 8th Grade - July 29, 2008 When you think of patriotism what comes to your mind? I think of freedom and of how honored I am to live in a country free of terrorists and slavery. Many people take freedom for granted . . . I for one don't . . . And so do most of my friends. And each morning in school when we say the Pledge of Allegiance . . . I would be the only one in my class to know what the words mean. It's sad that some people discriminate our freedom that we had to earn . . . Freedom is never free. My father is a very patriotic man and taught me everything I know about this county. He taught me respect, loyalty . . . and to stand tall and be proud of who I am. And to him . . . I thank dearly. God bless the troops in Iraq . . . I pray they make it home safely. And God bless America!

America as we know it includes a vast network of representative governments. During the colonial period of early America, Virginia was the first to introduce a representative assembly. This first glimpse of democracy influenced the shape of America today. It eventually caused the colonies to drift away from monarchial England, and to establish a democratic government. Ironically, from this government, slavery and racism sprouted. In an attempt to make Virginia a more pleasant place to live, the governor was instructed to create an assembly with the power to make laws. The assembly included two members from each plantation to serve as burgesses, or representatives. Convening in 1619 it became the first colonial, representative body (p.13). This was a significant step in the formation of America. A group of men representing the residents of a particular land would make laws that were meant for them. This was democracy at its earliest stage in America. Everywhere one goes today in America, there is democracy. Whether a church council, school club or the state general assembly, a representative group is always present. Democracy shapes America. One could view the

first democratic group responsible for today's freedom. This was the assembly formed by George Yeardly (p.13). Perhaps, if the Virginia Company had not instructed the governor to establish an assembly, the idea of democracy might not have instilled into the minds of the colonists. Surely, without this first appearance, it is questionable that an idea suppressed for centuries under the English monarchy would surface anywhere else. Moreover, it led the way for other settlements to adopt a similar code. Another way the representative body shaped America was slavery. Most representatives approved slavery and practiced it. The early burgesses of the Virginian assembly received land as their pay wages (p.14). They needed people to work their newly acquired lands. Therefore, indentured servants were common on their plantations. The whole idea of indentured servants and their later inadequacy eventually led to the flood of black slaves to America. Because these representatives owned servants and slaves themselves, slavery was easily passed into law. It has a huge impact on the racial tension in America today. Because of the representative government approved slavery, it existed in America. Virginia's first representative body helped form present America because it set an example of democracy for other colonies and broke from the common practice of lordship and monarchy. It eventually caused the colonies to drift away from monarchial England. If not for this first, the shape of America today would look much different.