Our great nation started out as mere immigrants trying to find a place to start a new life and to escape a war or famine. The statue of liberty was a sign of hope for others when they had finally fled the country they once called home and moved to a completely new and different land that was barren and beyond what they had expect. There are very few things that we all have in common.
Ethnic and religious differences are possibly the single most unifying element. It helps different cultural groups keep up their identity while mixing together in the boiling pot that we call the United States. American diversity is the very essence that which our nation was founded on. Americans can celebrate different ethnicities and their cultures through holidays commonly found in other countries. Black History Month, St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco De Mayo, and Ramadan are just a few examples of other religious and cultural observances. Embracing and celebrating the miscellany of other cultures has worked to mold, merge, and solidify American’s emblematic identity of being a nation that has represented the different groups while still transforming itself into one distinctive nation.
When the English first came over, they wreaked havoc among the Native Americans. The Native Americans taught the foreigners how to plant different vegetables and how to toil the soil. From this knowledge, the explorers became successful and were able to survive upon this new land. However, the Englishman was rude and belligerent to the Natives and stripped them away from their land and tried to change them. Yet, the Natives Americans still remained their faith and kept their culture beliefs and traditions.
The heritage of our great nation has been brought over by different ethnic groups and the way they have interacted. When some of the Irish first came over, they were shunned, kicked out of the work place, and had to work extra hard to make a living. During the 1800’s many stores had signs that said “Irish Need Not Apply.” The determination they had shone through the workplace and eventually they were accepted as equals.
Poor treatment of those with whom we are at war with has continuously plagued this great nation. When we went to war with Germany in both World War I and World War II, German Americans were treated poorly. The same thing is happening now as we are at war with Al Qaeda.
One’s personal heritage affects one’s duties to our nation by their personality and background. Different legacies were brought to the United States when people started to migrate here. We celebrate other ethnicity and cultures because it is the glue that holds our nation together. There is no longer a dominant ethnic group present in the United States. Different states have high concentrated populations of specific groups in them. Before many of these groups moved to the United States, they saw what their country was struggling with and why it was falling apart. This knowledge, when put to good use, can prevent our country from going through the same thing. Also, with the information we have about the past, we can prevent any ethnic group from being humiliated or treated unfairly. Like the famous saying goes, “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.”