April 17, 2013 - What is America?
America is an improbable idea, a nation divided by race and opinion but yet at the same time united as one.
America is uniquely original by design; there never was a country quite like America and there still isn't to this day.
While many other nations share the same ideas of democracy and liberty, none of them do so in the same way as America.
Forged out of the hopes and dreams of the colonist of a mighty empire of old, America came forth as a sovereign land conceived in freedom and justice for all people present and future.
America rose from 13 colonies under the control of a kingdom far away to become the greatest and most powerful nation in the world. A new country in a new land establishing new ideas to shape the future of our planet. The former citizens of an old empire came forth to establish a new empire.
But this empire was not like the other empires that have existed throughout our history.
America is an empire of ideology. Rather than an empire driven by the ideas of an autocrat, America is driven by the ideas of a people.
The ideas that have guided our county from its founding at Independence Hall to our position as a world power today.
The ideas that inspired craftsmen and farmers to take up arms and fight for their right to live in a land of liberty.
The ideas that make it possible for a poor child growing up in the inner city to one day become the CEO of his own business.
The ideas that truly make America the greatest country in the world. This path has not been an easy one, nor has it been one without mistake, but this path that we have chosen has been a worthy one none the less.
We have come together as a nation of many individuals with many different backgrounds and of many different heritages.
We have come together as a melting pot of individuals from every country and from every race.
We have come together to prove that the ideas that this nation was founded on are still alive today. Liberty and justice for all.
A nation made up of all the different peoples of this world coming together under one flag to live in a land of liberty with the freedom to make their own destiny.
That is what defines us as a nation. That is our America.
Christian Bodenmiller of Springfield Township, a 10th-grade student at Holly High School, wrote this essay on his own after a discussion with his English teacher on what America means to us.