America! The very letters of the word quiver with pride–pride linked to her legacy and ideals. Her standard of liberty was carved from sacrifice and dedication. She was built by those men and women who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to defend her with everything they had to offer. And because of it, today she is a haven of liberty, a place where her citizens are free to choose the lives they lead and how they live them. She is a land of prosperity and opportunity, and her citizens enjoy her rich blessings of freedom, stability, and safety.

It is easy to forget the sacrifices of those who came before us when we live in such comfort. But with so many blessings surrounding us, it would be ingratitude to forget where we came from. That tiny seedling planted by thousands of patriots, nourished with their faith, and watered with their blood, has shot up into a blossoming flower. Where would today’s flower be if its seed had not been planted hundreds of years ago? America’s legacy has brought us to where we are, and we can’t afford to forget it.

The legacy of America has not only affected her citizens. In 1776 she struggled for her independence, and today she is a standard of hope to others in the world suffocating in the steel-like grasp of a government that cares for nothing but power. The people of those nations understand America’s ideals and use her as their symbol. Immigrants and refugees come to America for a safe haven; an equal opportunity. Yes, those oppressed in the world agree that there is something special about the land of the free and the home of the brave; that great American Republic. 

Yet if all this is true, why are many Americans themselves constantly trying to crack their country’s foundation, to tear down her founders, and to speak of her with disgust and criticism? The answer is this: many Americans do not understand their country’s ideals; what she was founded upon, what she stands for. They don’t remember her legacy of patriots who gave their lives for freedom. They take her stability, safety, and prosperity for granted because they do not know the great blessings they have; they do not know the essence of what many other nations around the world suffer.

The founders of the United States of America were men and women who had felt the tyranny of the English government and wanted something better. They wanted to create a government that, if followed correctly, would ensure nothing like that could ever happen again. So on May 5th, 1787, 55 legendary men came together to create something the world had never before seen. The result? A republic that could destroy tyranny and shatter oppression; a government of the people, by the people, for the people. This is a government that, instead of gaining power over the people, is limited to protecting the people’s divinely given rights. 

In the Old World at that time, a government like this would never have been possible. Europe had a long history of power-hungry monarchs. Government then was for gain, money, and power, not service. But the New World, America, was a brand-new country that had place for new ideas. It contained just the right setting where old ideas could be brought and combined to make something totally new. And that’s exactly what happened. 

Though many countries today have constitutions, the Constitution of the United States is the oldest one still functioning. It has lasted 232 years from the time it was ratified until today. In comparison, since 1789, other national constitutions have lasted an average of 17 years.[1]  The stability brought by America’s Constitution is a blessing of safety. Her citizens don’t have to fear that civil war will break out after every election (as it did in Ivory Coast in 2002 and again in 2011–citizens are warily watching the 2020 elections coming up in October). Our Constitution has been stable for centuries, and logic tells us it will continue to be so if correctly followed.

America’s greatness is not held only in her political stability. Her economic status is way up there. She’s at the top of the list as the country who holds the most wealth in the world, containing globally 29.4% of it.[2] Even the poorest 20% of Americans are richer than most average Europeans.[3] We live in luxury (though we don’t know it) compared to countries like Ukraine and the Philippines, where the poorest household in America would be considered rich. It is no wonder this land of prosperity and freedom attracts so many people from around the world.

When it comes to blessings, Americans have some of the most. However, what is so ironic is that we are the only people that don’t realize that we are blessed. Every day we forget a little more what our blessings are and why we have them in the first place. We forget our legacy of sacrifice and honor. But these are things we can’t afford to forget. We are all children of the republic that has given us so much. So let us start to give something back. Let us use our blessings to continue what makes us great–to learn about our past, hold gratitude for the present, and leave our legacy to the future.

[1] – “The Lifespan of Written Constitutions | University of Chicago ….” 15 Oct. 2009, Accessed 5 Sep. 2020.

[2] – “All of the World’s Wealth in One Visualization – Visual Capitalist.” 16 Jan. 2020, Accessed 5 Sep. 2020

[3] – “America’s poorest are richer than most average Europeans ….” 27 Aug. 2019, Accessed 5 Sep. 2020.