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Patriotism: I Want Hope

Joined: 7/24/2013
Posts: 1

I grew up living in the US for 11 years. I moved to Casablanca, Morocco when I was 11 and to Moscow, Russia when I was 14. When I was younger, I didn’t know anything other than America. I had only left the country to go to Canada and that hardly counts because you go through the border and the only difference is that gas is sold in liters and the signs are in kilometers. I cried when my lane to Morocco from JFK took off because I was leaving that only life I had ever know. I had always lived in the same town and gone to the same school and had the same friends. I was happy that way.
When I left America, I became aware. I saw how much we as Americans truly have compared to others, but I also saw how horrible America is, how brainwashed we are as Americans. I haven’t said the Pledge of Allegiance in 5 years and yet I can still tell you every single word. I can still tell you who the 25th President of the United States of America was—McKinley, if you were wondering. That is not normal. No one should be told that the American Dream of working hard and making it in America exists because it doesn’t. Right now, there is no hope on that front, but maybe someday soon there will be.
Change is happening in America. Great change. Obama’s election was the beginning of it. His reelection was the continuation. I was in Morocco when he was elected the first time, and I will never forget how many people congratulated me and my fellow ex-pats on his win. I will never forget the joy in the eyes of Moroccans over the thought that someone the same color as them was President of the United States of America, someone who like them had to deal with diversity in America or knew someone who had dealt with diversity in America. I cannot tell you how many times cops in Morocco decided not to give us tickets once they found out we were American because of who was the President.
I was in Moscow for his reelection. The experience was completely different, but not at all worse. It was the first election I really paid attention to, and the first one I wished I could have voted in. His win was announced right before school started. My step-dad was about to take his soccer team to their tournament and I remember being so overwhelmed with happiness when I had the honor of telling him that Barrack Obama was president again. I remember that there was happiness that day.
So what is patriotism? To me, it is knowing that no matter how hard times are, your nation is there for you. Have I had times where I am not proud to be an American? Yes, but I know that no matter what patriotism will help me get through it.
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