What’s Right About America
When I was in high school, I participated in the Miss NJ National Teen Pageant. Part of the pageant was a speech competition where we had to write and recite a 150-word speech on the topic “What’s Right About America.”
Ninth and tenth grades were scary times for me and my friends. Every night on the news all we heard about was the hostage crisis and we wondered if there would be World War III. I remember in tenth grade during physics class when an announcement was made over the intercom that the American hostages in Iran had been released. I remember going home and watching it all unfold on television. (Watch the movie “Argo” for some insight into the situation.) I remember that was the moment when my speech pretty much wrote itself:
I will always remember the feelings I had on January 20, 1981, the greatest day in recent American history. A new president was inaugurated, and more importantly, the release of the fifty-two American hostages from Iran had been accomplished. Seeing their smiling faces and hearing the excitement in the voices of the news reporters gave me the true feeling of what it is like to be an American. It gave me great honor to have experienced such an important historical event. The proud spirit that captivated our country that day will always be remembered. It was an unashamed emotion for all that our country is, all that it has been, and all that it can be. That is “What’s Right About America.”
For me, what’s right about America is our patriotism and the fact that when we are attacked, we unite. I wish it didn’t take tragedies to unite us, but our day-to-day differences of opinions are what make us the greatest country on earth.
My family teases me because I still have the speech memorized. I’m weird like that. But guess what? My speech won first place!