2010 ERC Scholarship Essay Program $500 Recipient
Sarah Talbot, Sammamish (Eastlake High School)

Why America is the Greatest Country in the World

In America we often take our innumerable freedoms for granted. Day by day, we go through the same routine, never expecting to be confronted by the government for something like disagreeing with the president or practicing our religion. It is, essentially, a good thing that we have come to expect these freedoms, but that just shows how proficient our nation is at protecting those freedoms; protecting us, our children, and our future.

In 1620, the first English pilgrims came to America on the Mayflower to escape religious persecution. This was just the beginning of America’s role as a sanctuary to all religious people and their belief systems. Here, people have the liberty to practice any religion they choose and express all of their beliefs whether they be political or moral in nature without risking persecution or death.

People do not just come to America for freedom from persecution. They flock to America by the millions to tap into the unprecedented amount of opportunity present in our great nation. Not only is every citizen in the United States guaranteed the opportunity to receive an education, every citizen is allowed to attend a college or university if they are willing to work hard enough and tap into their true potential. Along with educational opportunity, America provides social and economic opportunity as well. Everyone is free to start their own business, or become a contributing member of the working class. America is most beneficial towards those who are willing to work honest and hard.

Our government also is different from many of those around the world. The United States is run “by the people, for the people” in that the population dictates the way in which the government should be run. We Americans are represented in our government by those we vote for in elections, and their actions are supposed to represent what we as a nation believe. What makes America better, however, is that if we do not like what the government is doing, we have the ability to stop it; we are not exploited by, nor slaves of our government as we are the ones who give the government it’s power.

As it stands today, our nation finds itself in a rut of doubt and lackluster appreciation for our government and for each other as citizens. Many of us in the nation are turning towards our government to solve our problems and blaming those in power for the things going wrong in this nation. We seem to have forgotten that we are in control of our own destiny and our current state of political melancholy is dangerous for us and for our children.

The finest part about America however, is that we can change. Everyone in America has an opportunity to change; become something new and better. Essentially, the greatest thing about America is that we are whatever we wish to become and there is nothing anyone can do to stop us.

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