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Rayna Porter

Ms. Gardner
English 10 Honors Period 2
25 October 2014

Domine, Benedice Americam

To all Americans, from veterans of war -both past and present-, to politicians within our congress, our

states and counties, to the stay-at-home parents and the working class, and mostly, to the children, with
whom all our futures rest, I ask of you your attention.

Every morning, we pledge our allegiance to the American flag, and to the republic established by our
forefathers. The flag is a synecdoche; a representation of this countries history, a symbol of hope in the
midst of poverty and famine and war, a warning to those who threaten the peace this nation, along with
many others, has fought to implement in modern society.

It is the manifestation of our pride. The glimpse of a lighthouse, for those lost on stormy seas. A promise.

However, our minds have become dim, as the years have grown old. When we bury our children under
the weight of past mistakes, misplaced guilt, and debilitating shame; when we smother our masses
beneath the sins of our fore bearers; when we brand our citizens with the dying embers of long dead wars,
we sabotage our future.

How many times will we apologize for those who came before us? How long will we bear the burden of
crimes we did not commit? How much penance must we pay for the past?

God Bless America (Latin)

We punish our own people for the sake of those long dead, we feed the world's poor while we let our own
children starve, we build houses for the homeless of Africa, and let our own citizens go without shelter.
We fights wars on other continents, and ignore the war on our own doorstep, in our own streets.

I am not saying that we should not help those in need- but how can we aid others, if we can't even help
ourselves? There is no reason for even one American to go hungry a day in their life, nor spend even a
single night without a roof to cover their head. We are capable of ending all unnecessary suffering in our
country at any moment- it is the government's decision to put other people before their own citizens that
has left our children, our future, festering in the gutters.

We bend over backwards trying not to offend others, trying to make up for the slavery of the blacks, the
oppression of women, the prosecution of homosexuals, or other people who represent a minority. These
are problems in our society that still need to be addressed, but before we can do that, we must feed our
hungry, house our homeless, save our cities.

We preach that slavery has been ended, but that is a lie. There are more people enslaved today than in all
of recorded history. Human beings are the number one commodity in the world, and America is not
exempt from this, according to Times Magazine. "...children are being targeted and sold for sex in
America every day, States John Ryan, CEO and president of the National Center for Missing &
Exploited Children (NCMEC). Human trafficking is not a third world problem; it is a pandemic, and it is
past time that America started looking for a cure.

Another major problem American's face is poverty. reported that in 2013, 45.3
million American people were in poverty. That is nearly 15% of the population. 15% of American's who
do not make enough to support themselves or their families. Not because there is a shortage of food, not
because there isn't enough houses, not because we don't know how to help them. The government, and by
extension, the American people, have allowed this. However, instead of fixing the problem of poverty, we
just treat the symptoms. Throwing foods stamps at people and offering free housing is not the way to

handle the situation. Yes, we need to get our people off the streets, we need to feed and shelter them, but it
is our responsibility to ensure a better future for America as well. Allowing able bodied people to survive
off of handouts doesn't benefit anyone. Moreover, it cripples our people by forcing them to rely
completely on the government for everything. This has to stop.

Classmates, you are the future, and the future is you. America will rise or fall by the hands of its children,
and your decisions today will shape the world of tomorrow, for generations to come. Only you can make
the choice to change. Have pride, have integrity. Hold yourself and others accountable for their decisions.
Love your country, for all its faults and failures, all its mistakes and shortcomings. For we can only truly
love others when we learn to love ourself.