An Early Tribute to American Heroes Before the 4th

200 years ago, our nation went to war with the greatest empire on Earth in order to become independent from a tyrannical regieme from across the pond. Men like Patrick Henry and George Washington were willing to give up everything they had to complete the revolution they’d started. Ex-Patriots like the famed Benedict Arnold once fought valiantly in New York in order to push back against the British, and then betrayed their nation for personal gain. America’s men, boys, women, and girls became instant enemies of that great empire when they decided not to support the British, and then had to face their fellow countrymen who thought differently. Houses and families became split. Marriages fell apart, Relationships broke down, and friends denounced each other. The English became foreign invaders, and the Americans began a fight for freedom.

You Didn’t Leave

After we triumphed over the British with French help, that nation still didn’t fully leave. We had to buy land from the nations who had settled here, like the Louisiana Purchase and the buying of Florida and Alaska. We fought the War of 1812, where the British burned the White House and even ate from the plates the evacuees had left behind. We fought numerous wars with the Native Americans in the South, the West, the North, and even the East. We had to expand the land we’d taken, and other peoples stood in our way. America wanted land, and we either bought it from others, or we took it by force or treat. Men like James Madison kept us stable with that war, others like Andrew Jackson partook in the wars to clear the way for expansion. These men took it on themselves to help lead us westward, and their legacies are remembered for the better because of it.

A Civil War and a Reunion

After the British finally left our lands, we went on to experience many triumphs in the land, We discovered gold in the west, we created world-changing inventions which bettered humanity, and we even experienced some extraordinary expansions. However, in 1860 we came to blows with the growing South. For the second time in history, war came to our land, and the nation was ripped apart. The states of Virginia, both Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Florida, and Kentucky became a whole separate entity, and another war started. The only American Civil War began, and lasted for 4 long years. Houses split with Unionists and Confederates, and families were broken apart. Brothers and sisters became nationally recognized foes, wives and husbands became opposing forces, and mothers and fathers had to reconcile the fact that their children were ideologically opposed to them. However, politics was much the same. Democrats like Edward Stanton and Republicans like Abraham Lincoln came together and hashed out plans to give freedom to slaves. Lincoln and former Democrat Andrew Johnson united forces to show solidarity and a start to healing the nation. However, not everyone wanted unification after the war’s end. A pro-slavery racist actor named John Wilks Booth shot Lincoln in the back of the head, and his friends tried to murder both the Vice President and the Secretary of State. However, our nation held together to trudge through time.

Saving Freedom, Twice

In 1914, the world came to war, and we stayed out of it. Men like Teddy Roosevelt tried to get us to fight for freedom against the imperial Germans, but Woodrow Wilson wanted to come into the war on an equal footing morally with the French and British. However, regardless of our delay going into the war, we smote the Germans on the backside and sent them home crying. We beat back the Ottomans, and also kept our boot on their neck for the next two decades. In that war, we sent into war our boys and aided the fledgling lines of British and French defenders. We then had to go into war again 20 years later, and defeated the same Germans in yet another World War. America throughout the war remained relatively unharmed. Pearl Harbor remained the only significant foreign attack on American soil, and it was what brought us into the war.

Policing The World

After World War II, America wanted to become more prevalent on the world stage. We’d already tried doing this with Woodrow Wilson and the League of Nations. But, we as Americans never really recognized that organization, and it let the Nazis take Germany in the mid-1930s. So, we founded the United Nations. With the help of the UN, we partook in several large conflicts by the late 1970s. More Americans lost their lives to wars in this century than in any other to date. We fought in the Middle East, Korea, and Vietnam. We bombed Cambodia, helped ship arms to rebels in Nicaragua, and even tried to support a coup in Cuba.

Modern American Pride

Is America perfect? Heck no. We had slavery, internment camps, and racial segregation. We aren’t morally pure, but are we one of the best nations on Earth? Well, we’re close to it. America gave women the right to vote in 1920. That was a lot further than any country had gone in women rights back then. We freed slaves in the 1860s, something no country had nationally done by that point. We have great religious tolerance today when countries in the world still outlaw religious talk and make it a federal crime. We also pushed for equality between the races far before anyone else did. Heck, in places like South Africa and the places like Serbia and Bosniea. We are the nation which pushes for gay rights worldwide, peace between nations, and also have been known for accepting refugees from almost every nation on Earth. People come to America for a new life, and there’s good reason for that. Our amazing nation allows someone on the rock bottom of society to become a congressman, or even the top in an industry. In America, no one is below another in forced living. A poor African kid can become a great doctor, and a rich kid from Hollywood can bomb out and commit suicide at age 19. Anything can happen in this country, and anyone can do anything (almost). America has been on top of the world stage ever since World War II, and it remains that way for the foreseeable future. If you are reading this on July 4th, then happy Independence Day, my fellow patriots.

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