On July 4th, 1776, the continental congress signed the Declaration of Independence, envisioning a nation where every citizen had the basic rights of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. This document boldly declared that the thirteen British colonies residing in North America intended to separate from the reign of Great Britain across the sea. What gave these few men the boldness to defy a power wealthier and mightier than they? What makes a nation strong? Listen to William Ralph Emerson’s answer in his poem, “A Nation’s Strength” (stanzas 1, 3, and 5):
(1) What makes a nation’s pillars high.
And its foundations strong?
What makes it mighty to defy
The foes that round it throng?
(3) Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
Of empires passed away;
The blood has turned their stones to rust,
Their glory to decay.
(5) Not gold but only men can make
A people great and strong;
Men who for truth and honor’s sake
Stand fast and suffer long.
What makes America strong, both back in 1776 as well as now, is not the sword (strength/size of army) nor gold (abundance of wealth), but rather it is “men who for truth and honor’s sake stand fast and suffer long.” The men, women, and children who make up the United States of America are as diverse as they are beautiful. Across the states, we see different skin colors, accents, lifestyles, cultures, and languages represented, yet we all partake in the blessings of the freedoms of this country.
Whether you were born in the land or applied for citizenship from another country makes no difference, a citizen is a citizen here. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), “during the last decade we welcomed more than 7.3 million naturalized citizens into the fabric of our nation” (Naturalization Statistics | USCIS). In the chart below, you can see the top five countries of birth for people naturalizing to the United States in 2020:
Perhaps your grandmother immigrated from China and prefers to only speak Mandarin Chinese with the family, or you, yourself came from Mexico and desire to preserve the Spanish language and culture to your children. Or perhaps your ancestors have lived in the USA for generations but you are interested in French culture. If you find yourself in a situation such as this, Cultural-Bytes.org is here to help! We offer affordable online One-on-One classes in Spanish, French, and Mandarin that will guarantee you results .
Whatever your story is, it is important that we respect the cultures and languages of other people as we all live together under the American flag.
On this Independence day, let’s celebrate both our diversity and unity that make this nation strong. Let’s be men, women, and children who “for truth and honor’s sake, stand fast and suffer long.”