Iâ€™m an American
By: Carolyn Hileman
Iâ€™m an American; can you say that with me? Iâ€™m an American born brave and born free, I am the small child who salutes the flag, the old women who crochets the last stitch on her flag afghan. I am newborn flesh and wrinkled hands Iâ€™m an American. I am the soldier who signs I love you just before he picks up his gun; I am the student who prays before that big test, Iâ€™m an American. I am the man who tightens the bolts, who wipes your windshield, the man who can tolerate being called any name you wish as long as you finish it with the word American.
I am the woman who cradles her newborn and wonders what kind of world she will grow up in; I am the old lady who sacrificed through a war just to watch us try to give it all way. I am the child who sits at his desk and looks around and wonders when they will have anymore kids like him in his class. Iâ€™m an American, the one who fought for this country, the one who pays the bills, the one you take for granted, thatâ€™s right Iâ€™m an American, and I want my country back.
I am the man who has watched as his business has gone bankrupt, in order to keep foreigners in work. I am the woman who has to walk by the construction site each day on her way to work and hear the cat calls in a language she doesnâ€™t even understand. I am the old couple who spent all their lives fixing up their dream home, only to walk outside now and have some young punk with tattoos from head to toe grab his crotch and shoot them the finger. Iâ€™m an American, the one most likely to fail because I believe in my country.
I am the flag, the statue of liberty, the twin towers; I am the cradle, the wheelchair, the car. I am every bit the dust that flies through the air as you drive through this country. I am the crops in the field, the produce on the shelves. I have touched each and every life in one way or another and I am now being told that it is not good enough, they can find better, cheaper, less complaints, more money and less American. They can import in people as easily as they do products and these people have no wish to be an American, all they want is to work. I am a fading breed, a once was, a used to be, no one wants to say those words anymore, no one wants to stand up for the right to say them anymore. But as for me, I will go to my grave uttering the words, and on quiet nights when the wind is still people all over the country will hear me scream Iâ€™m an American.
In the End,
we will remember
not the words of our enemies,
but the silence of our friends.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
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