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Patriotism: You Don't Have to be a Citizen

Joined: 7/17/2013
Posts: 3
What does it mean to be American? Is it supporting every decision our government makes? Knowing the words to the national anthem? Maybe, but most of all I believe that being American, or being patriotic, is advancing the future of your country, because the future is all we have. Perhaps you think going to war is a bad idea, or maybe you weren’t born here at all. Still, you can enrich the future of your country. Even if you aren’t a typical all-American, you can be a patriot.

My mother is patriotic. She keeps up with politics and discusses what she thinks is best for the country. Since my siblings and I were tiny, we’ve all discussed upcoming political elections and new laws. She made us comfortable considering serious ideas about our country, even as children. My mother has instilled honesty and hard work into all three of us, morals that can only be considered American. Her favorite phrase is “Go try it again,” and we all know how to give our best effort. Our house is a safe place to learn, talk, and make mistakes. Most importantly, she is an impactful teacher. My mom teaches ten-year-olds about America’s history. She leads a classroom of fifth-graders in the flag salute and shows them how to work hard. Hundreds of students have sat in her classroom and been led by my mother’s example. My mother loves the country in which she lives, and it shows.

However, my mother can’t vote. She wasn’t born in America. In fact, she’s not a citizen at all. By many definitions, my mother is definitely not American. Yet she is. Her family brought her to California to give her an opportunity for education, so she learned the importance of this education and grew up to pass this gift on to kids. It doesn’t matter that her passport says “Canada”, or that she can’t vote on Election Day. My mother is American because being American means enriching the future of her country, and the children she teaches are the future. All of those hundreds of fifth-graders who learned not only about history, but about the importance of voicing your opinions, helping others, and working hard, are the future.

Seeing my mother in action every day makes me proud of my country for allowing her to enrich the future. I am proud of my country because it allowed my mother, with her Green Card, to come and not only work in America but teach its children and add to its future. I appreciate the impact that our country makes by allowing non-citizens like my mother to educate her students about what it means to be American.

There are so many people who would argue that my mother is not a patriot because she is not American. Still, I know the impact of the lessons that she has taught me, and I know that she is a true patriot. For real patriotism, you don’t have to be a citizen.
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
Thank you for your essay. I think your mother sounds like an amazing person and it's wonderful that she instilled the power of patriotism in you as well.

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013 7:34:44 PM
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