This week, the Newswire asked, “What does it mean to be American?” Four students responded.
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The Preamble of the Constitution of the United States of America starts with the words, “We the People.” This is precisely what America is — We the People. That always has been and always will be the American national identity.
The opening lines of the Constitution are not just a smattering of patriotic words strung into one very long run-on sentence. The Preamble is a call to action, the foundation of what brings us all together as Americans seeking to build a better America.
One of the founding principles of our country is that we are a nation founded by the people and for the people. We are accountable to each other and ourselves — and our government is accountable to us — to protect our rights and liberties.
However, no one can deny that there have been many times in our nation’s history when We the People have failed.
It is our responsibility to learn from the mistakes of the past and work together in meaningful dialogue to ensure those historical wrongs are not repeated or proliferated and that no one’s rights are infringed upon.
Being an American means rising to meet our Constitution’s call to be We the People, to endlessly fight for each other’s rights, to stand up against that which is wrong and to support each other as members of this nation.
It will not happen overnight — we are still human, after all — but to be an American is to be dedicated to the struggle and the process of improvement and ensuring that every American has their opportunities to enjoy to the fullest extent the promises of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Anne Marie Coriale is a senior business management major from Lexington, Ky. She is the President of Young Americans for Liberty.
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