What does it mean to be 'American?' What makes it " American?' And how does it make us 'American?' American stands for the beliefs, the music, as well as the people that come from this great nation. The beliefs of this great nation speak every language. These beliefs stretch from the furthest reaches of Africa to the city life of New York. These beliefs are pride, freedom, and equality. American means to be proud. It means to stand up for what you believe in and to fight for it wholeheartedly.

American also means to have freedom, freedoms to do what you wish, to practice your own religious ceremonies, customs, and beliefs. With these freedoms comes a responsibility, a responsibility to be accountable for your actions. Equality is the basis of American society. Before equality for all, there was slavery. With this slavery came accounts of cruelty and disillusioned violence. Without help from first hand accounts of slaves such as Frederick Douglass and Olaudah Equino, we would have never emerged from this dark era in American history.

American music is the envy of nations around the world. From Led Zeppelin to Snoop Doggy Dog, American music continues to diversify and grow. American bands develop large masses of followers in nations of all different ethnic backgrounds. From Asia to Germany, American music continues to influence the music styles of the rest of the world. Proud American men and women joined the armed forces to serve the country that they love and protect. These people show what it means to be American.

Just as the colonists fought the British for Independence in April Morning, they risk their lives, for something they believe in and cherish. These same people also stand for exploration and discovery. The first white people lead by Captain Smith, traveled to the newly discovered Americas, to explore and colonize. They show the American strength of character, determination, and will. To be 'American' is to be many things.

It means different things to different people, yet they all agree on the basic American fundamentals. The beliefs, music, and people of a country define the essence of that nation.