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I am proud of the fact that my nation is founded on the lofty idea that people can govern themselves, and are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. No other country can say that. We try to help other countries that have the same ideals, even if we have been falling short lately.
I'm proud of the freedom that we have. This country is nowhere near perfect, or no where near as great as I would like it to be, especially in regards to the historical treatment of Black Americans. But the freedom that we all now have in this country is second to none. I can aspire to be anything I want, live where I want, dress the way I want, practice the religion I want and so on. I could even leave the country whenever I like. This type of true freedom is a lot to be thankful for.
As an American, I am proud of the freedom of choice our country affords us. We are free to choose: careers, religions, to pursue education or not; to love whom we want; to marry or not to marry; to own property or not; to say what we believe. America is a country of freedoms.
I am proud of our all volunteer Armed Forces men and women. In times like this it would be easy to say I am not going to enlist and be a part of any of it. We continually have people enlist and re-enlist in order to protect the rights of the rest of us and to ensure our safety.
I'm proud of the US mainly for its tolerance.
Here in the US, we are generally tolerant of other people's ideas and of who they are in general. We are not always perfect, but our "default position" is to be tolerant.
For example, I am proud of the fact that I live in a country where it is not a problem that I am not white but am married to a woman that is. We live in a very conservative area, but no one has ever commented on our marriage.
This brings up another thing. The US seems in many ways to always be improving itself. A generation ago, we were a much less tolerant country with interracial marriage being illegal in many places.
So, we are by no means perfect. However, we have tolerance as one of our major goals and themes and we tend to work towards that idea instead of away from it. I am proud of that fact.
One of the things that I am proud of is the way that Americans are allowed to and have maintained a willingness to speak out against the status quo, whether or not the majority are willing to listen. People like Studs Terkel who took the time to record and speak to so many "ordinary" people and discussed things like whether we really ought to have dropped nuclear bombs on Japan and other questions like that. You also have incidents like the Dixie Chicks suggesting that it is right to question our willingness to go to war and then being willing to stand up to immense public pressure to back down. People like that are inspiring to me.
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