100 Things That Make Me Proud to Be An American

Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on January 20, 2009 0 Comments


I am just busting with pride to be an American on this day.  When I was going through chemo this last spring I started to have anxiety attacks over the legacy of the Bush Administration.  Seriously, you know the stuff that you feel passionate about but are able to throw off when other topics enter your mind?  I couldn't do it.  It was as if the world was collapsing on me. 

            In early October Barack Obama came to Kansas City.  It was about four months after my treatments and I was having some problems walking, but that day I walked and stood literally for hours to hear him speak.  I was not disappointed. 

            What he said moved me…and yes, to tears.  When he talked about health care it was like he was addressing me personally.  His mother had the same cancer I had and for once I believed that a politician in high office actually cared if I lived or died.  That I mattered more than oil company profits. 

            With all that said and duly noted, I came up with this list.  It is a very loose list; often based on what first popped into my head.  Some of it is silly, some serious – all American.  It is by far not the best thing I have ever written, hell it probably isn't the best thing I wrote today, but it does come from the heart.  I freely admit when I was stuck I gleefully looked up information on Wikipedia (which is based in America).  So to summarize: Hooray for America!!!!!!        


•1.       Our flag totally rocks!  Listen, even if I wasn't an Americans I would think that our flag was esthetically pleasing.  We also score points because the symbolism is easy to understand.  Red, White, and Blue like our mother country.  Thirteen strips for the thirteen original colonies.  Fifty stars for all of our states.  Except Puerto Rico and other territories, which aren't states, but whose population is all American.

•2.      The Internet.  It was born in America and given to the world.

•3.      The Space Program.  We are the only nation that has ever landed on the moon.  Other cultures have had and have greatness, but our nation fulfilled the dreams of a millennia.

•4.       As a nation we have a great sense of humor.  Mark Twain, Dorothy Parker, David Letterman, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are all part of a proud tradition that have kept the world snickering in irony for years.

•5.       We are a huggy happy nation.  Although other societies may find reason to scorn us for this, it makes little difference.  No matter where you are from, if you come to America expect for some stranger to smile at you for no particular reason but to smile at you.  Yes, we Americans may tell you are life stories upon meeting you for the first time face to face, but hey, we aren't grump like some cultures.

•6.       We honor the disabled with laws, parking, and ramps.  I knew this guy from India who just loved America because he could get around in his wheelchair.  Although sometimes I frustrated with handicapped parking, especially when all of them are empty and the nearest abled body parking is like three miles along, but that is just a small quibble.


•7.      We have Freedom of Speech…and God knows we use it.

•8.      We have Freedom of Religion…and we have the freedom not to be religious, which I really LOVE.

•9.      We adopt any traditional holiday from any large minorities that settle within our borders as long as there is food and alcohol involved, we Americans put on our party!

•10.  Hollywood.  Love it or hate it, it leads the world with telling stories through cinema.

•11.  Our land includes; oceans, mountains, prairies desserts, tundra, forests and swamps (have I forgotten anything?).  This land is your land and my land!

•12.  In the same vein, our National Parks are Amazing!  Get this, we also invented the concept of National Parks.

•13.  We eat food from all over the world (and don't our bellies show it) everything is common place from sushi to bagel with cream cheese and lox.

•14.  We are the home of Disney.  I know it has its detractors, but really, how bad can a company be that celebrates the child in all of us.

•15.  Rap Music is an American art form.

•16.  Break Dancing is an American art form.

•17.  Jazz is an American art form.

•18.  Blue Grass is an American art form.

•19.  Country music is an American art form.

•20.  Animation is an American art form.

•21.  Comic Books are an American art form.

•22.  Rock and Roll is an American art form.

•23.  Our writers are AMAZING!  Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, Truman Capote, Flannery O'Connor, Dorothy Parker, and the list goes on and on.

•24.  We elected Barack Obama.  He is a minority elected by the majority, few countries can claim that.

•25.  Beauty Contests – yes they are tacky, but Miss America started it all and now Beauty Pageants are a worldwide phenomena.

•26.  Oprah, nuff said.  She has made talk shows into an art form.

•27.  Endangered Species Act…and now we have an administration that will honor it!

•28.  Clean Air and Water…and now we have an administration that cares!

•29.  American networks and cable stations.  Lots of choices.

•30.  24 Hour News, not necessarily a good thing, but in its prime, CNN was very informative.  Need I have to add that 24/7 news stations were born in America.

•31.  The New Deal, the deal that saved America.  Many historians believed it saved capitalism in the United States by counter-balancing revolutionary movements.

•32.  Feminism.  Women still make less than men but we are much better off than fifty years ago.  Further, women's rights have spread throughout the world due to American influence.

•33.  Vegas.  Lots of light, gambling, and tackiness, but fun, fun, fun.

•34.  Someone like Elvis Presley was declared king.

•35.  American baseball.  Slow game, but fun to watch at a ballpark.

•36.  Football, known everywhere else in the world as American Football.  Love it, but I don't know why.

•37.  Basketball, a sport which started in America and has spread to the world.

•38.  Mega Bookstores.  I love independent bookstores too (you can usually find interesting reads a lot quicker) but there is something about being surrounded by acres of books that makes me giddy.

•39.  Shopping Malls.  Maybe it's because they our sentimental memories of malls when I was a wee teen, but I love them and their sprawl.

•40.  'Rolling Stone' magazine is an American institution.

•41.  'Vogue' magazine is an American institution and it has spread to other cultures with fashionistas of their own.

•42.  'Vanity Fair', all of you know how I feel about my 'Vanity Fair'.

•43.  Broadway Theatre – got to sing, got to dance.

•44.  Airplanes – Kitty Hawk, you know the rest.

•45.  American cars, they are becoming more fuel efficient, and I still love riding in an SUV.  My car is a jeep.

•46.  Ziplock Bags.  Don't laugh a British friend of mine couldn't heap enough praise for these things.  Because they weren't sold in England yet, he brought a whole bag for his mum.

•47.  Target.  I love this store.

•48.  Saks Fifth Avenue.  I understand they are having some financial plans, I hope they work it out.  Their store Off 5th was like my mothership.

•49.  Kansas City.  It's my hometown and I love it!

•50.  The Smithsonian.  I could spend a month wandering around aimlessly.

•51.  Macy's, I love Macy's.

•52.  Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  I never watch it, but I used to make Thanksgiving food while viewing it.

•53.  Halloween.  No place on Earth celebrates Halloween the way Americans do.

•54.  The Rose Parade.  Someday I would like to see this parade up close.

•55.  Public Schools.  Yes, they have been beaten and criticized but most of them do a fine job.

•56.  Indian Fetish Jewelry.  Fetishes are so fun to work with.  I'll also expand this by saying, American Indian inspired jewelry rocks! 

•57.  Wild horses that run free.

•58.  Edward Gorey.  Most people think he is British, but he's American.

•59.  Paula Deen.  How can you not help but LOVE this woman!  I met her once and my friend and I were like "We aren't worthy!"  I gave her a line that she might still use in her restaurant, at least I hope so, when she allowed Audrey (8 or 9 at the time) to get behind the counter with her, I said, "Audrey you just got a backstage pass."  Deen laughed, it was a very good day for me.

•60.  Blowing up stuff on the 4th of July.

•61.  Free Gift with Purchase.  This was an American idea, Estee Lauder started it.  Who doesn't love buying makeup and getting one of those cute makeup bags you don't need but covet?

•62.  Dental floss.  Americans invented it!

•63.  Lock and Stitch Sewing Machines.  Someday I'm going to learn how to sew and isn't it great that we improved sewing machines!

•64.  Potato Chips, the bar-be-qued ones are sooooo good. 


•65.  The Simpsons, every ones favorite nuclear family.

•66.   Toilet paper, Americans invented toilet paper.  World, you are welcome.

•67.  Motorcycles and yes, an American invented that too.  It has become part of our lore to take a motorcycle out into the open road.

•68.  Food Mixers.  We also invented food mixes.  I love smoothies.

•69.  Blue Jeans.  Who doesn't love blue jeans? 

•70.  Telephone.  We Americans love to use our telephones to the annoyance of all.      

•71.  Christmas lights.  I'm not even a Christian and I adore Christmas lights.

•72.  The electric fan.  I can't fall asleep in the summer without one of these.

•73.  Skyscrapers, yup not only did we invent them, but we also invented the disaster movie that often featured a skyscraper in peril.

•74.  Volleyball.  I love volleyball and it was invented here in the United States.

•75.  Crayons.  How can you go through childhood without crayons.

•76.  Monopoly.  Who doesn't like to play Monopoly, especially for money.

•77.  Recliners, wouldn't you know it that Americans invented recliners, probably for our fat a$$es. 

•78.  Sunglasses, we brought cool to the world.

•79.  Pluto, I don't care, it will always be a planet to me.  An American discovered it.

•80.  Chocolate Chip Cookie, once again, you are welcome world.

•81.  Microwave Oven.  I still have mine from my college days.

•82.  Kitty Litter, which enables all of us cat lovers to keep cats more conveniently. 

•83.  Barbie Doll.  My childhood would not have been complete without one.

•84.  The Pill.  An American invention and no need to comment further.

•85.  Virtual Reality.  If you have never played one of these games, do so.  They are so much fun.

•86.  Personal Computer.  I wouldn't be able to communicate with all of you without one.

•87.  Polar Fleece. 

•88.  E-mail.  Along with e-mail came, e-mail jokes.

•89.  Paintball, fun.

•90.  The Hubble Space Telescope, what a gift to the world

•91.  Happy Hour, what a gift to me.  Did you know that they are trying to ban it in Britain.

•92.  Truck Pulls, what can I say, I'm from Missouri.

•93.  Fried Twinkies, ditto above.

•94.  Wikipedia, American

•95.  Google, American

•96.  Yahoo, American

•97.  New Orleans

•98.  Super Bowl commercials

•99.  The Oscars

100 My Family, all born and raised in America


By the way, feel free to add to the list! 

Westerfield © 2009


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