CLEVELAND — If you want to see America, look around you. In this country, it is everywhere for this is the face of America. Celebrating the nation's independence, we celebrate ourselves and our diversity. America is based on We The People, who in the scheme of things really have a say.
We are the We The People of which our documents speak. July Fourth, we honor this union of faces and of lives. Our celebratory fireworks of colorful explosions cause us to look upward. There's something in that. We have had to look upward in the continuing struggle to insure freedom is for everyone.
In 1776 at America's founding, 'We The People' did not include everyone. People who were not white, women, and people without property could not vote. But through a series of constitutional amendments over many generations, 'We The People' has grown. I am part of 'We The People.'
So are you.
So we gathered individuals, none of whom knew each other. Question: What does America mean to you?
"I think America stands for family, togetherness and hope."
"It means freedom. Being able to do whatever I need to do. Go wherever I need to go."
"The freedom to make choices, to act responsibly. To do good things."
"Opportunity. Opportunity to move forward. To express yourself."
There have been times our We The People family has taken up arms over tyranny when there were challenges to freedom. We The People responded. We celebrate America and the expanded freedoms which have come over the generations. Still we remain mindful the U.S. Constitution grants our rights to peacefully protest our government.
We celebrate the nation's birth and this idea of America. That idea cradled in the word 'democracy," which means "the people rule." We strive to make a more perfect union. But it takes work.
That's what America means to me.
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