America the changing

June 25, 2010
"So Suze! You finished with your America the beautiful speech yet? Hope asked… well hopefully.

"Sorry, but no. I can't go out tonight." We walked home in silence, with just the rhythm of our feet padding on the tan cement sidewalk. We parted our own ways and went home. As soon as I got through the door I plodded down on the desk chair and bore into the paper with my eyes. I had written a total of two words: Suzanna Michaels.

America the Beautiful! America the Beautiful? Really I couldn't think of something so "beautiful" to write about. Yeah, I mean our country itself is beautiful. But the people in it? Not so much! I decided then and there that I was going to write a speech so moving and truthful that it would blow the judges down the Mississippi river and all the way to Brazil.

"In America I look around and see the flowers and landscapes, and I see the beauty in our country. Who doesn't marvel in awe at the pink hues of the sunset or even the oranges and blues? But what you don't think about is the fact that those wonderful colors are caused by pollution.

America the free, some people call it. Yeah right. Of course unless you mean free to kill an innocent baby before it breathes its first breath. Or free to exercise prejudice against people of different culture. We should call ourselves America the Judging. If someone is wearing a certain type of clothing or a lot of black we automatically categorize them. He's goth, she's a hic, he's a scrub. What if that so called goth just wanted to wear black that day? What if that "Scrub" is having a hard time at home and doesn't have any time to care about it?

America the greedy is also appropriate. Let's say you buy a lottery ticket and win 15 million dollars. You spend it on a very nice vacation and retirement. But what about the people who don't have enough money to rent a room or buy food, the starving kids in Africa? What about the single mothers struggling to make a living? I assure you they need it more.

America the choosy. I always see people walking around in pink support breast cancer shirts. But why do you very rarely see purple to support all cancers? Or the color for leukemia?

America the Brave is another name we have been called. Is it really brave to kill thousands of people? It's wrong even when the cause is just. Is it brave to not send food to countries who need it when America has the highest obesity rate of all of them?

The last name I'll give America is America the changing. Though I have seen many things in America that are ugly and wrong I still see hope. America has the ability to change and I see it happening every day all around me. It's the hope that still glistens our eyes. That is why America is America the beautiful. "

I finished the speech with a large breath and lowered my head in a sort of bow. I saw tears shining in some eyes, anger burning in others', but mostly I saw realization and agreement. They knew I was right. Nodding, the judges dismissed me and I left with pleasure. Once outside I looked all around me and saw it. America the beautiful. America the Changing.

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This article has 8 comments. Post your own now!

AsIAm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 20, 2010 at 10:56 am

The Good:  Wow.  That was amazing.  Your writing was strong, your message was powerful, and I could tell you really believed in what you were writing.  Kudos to you for taking a stand.  I may not agree with every single one of your points, but I do agree with you that America is changing, and I think it would be a change for the better if there were more people who are passionate about America like you seem to be.  Never stop writing, or standing for what you bel... (more »)

SecretNonConformist said...
Sept. 6, 2010 at 6:54 pm
 You are a talented writer. That's the best thing :) It was interesting how you made this a fiction piece when it seems to be your own opinions. Also, you could've developed the characters more so it would seem more fictional. I'd have liked to learn about what Hope wrote for her speech, and what Suzanna was thinking while she wrote this, even what she wore to the competition. I'm sorry, I just love characters. Anyways, great job!
thepreechyteenager said...
Sept. 3, 2010 at 10:32 am

. I thought this was a very good writing piece.  It had beautiful words and it had a very hopeful and nice ending after pointing out some peoblems America has.

That being said, I thought this was also terribley one-sided and bias.  Yes, America with the hight obestiy rate.  And yet, you leave out the stupendously high anorexic and bulimic rate.

And yes, most Americans would spend 15 mil on themselves, friends, and families.  But I don't see any reasoning as t... (more »)

Inherinerd replied...
Sept. 3, 2010 at 6:54 pm
Thank you for your feedback and i completely agree with you. I would have thought my facts through a bit more if i had had time but it was a forty minute competition so i didnt have that much time! and of course i'll look at your piece
A_Dreamer said...
Jul. 26, 2010 at 6:17 pm
I agree with pretty much all you wrote in there. America can change, for the better. You expressed it very well. :) I think you should have gotten a one!
Inherinerd replied...
Jul. 26, 2010 at 8:18 pm
Thank you!! But it all depends on who you are in the room with. There are six people and your score is sort of like what place it got. The other person's must have been very good!
a.m.f said...
Jul. 19, 2010 at 9:56 pm
I like this.  I agree with your opinion 100%.  Everything you wrote about America is true, and I too think that America has the potential to change and become all the different things people believe it is.
Inherinerd replied...
Jul. 19, 2010 at 10:43 pm
Thank you. This was for a writing competition. I got a two out of 6(one bieng the best)
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