Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President:

You don’t know who I am. That’s fine by me. I mean, I don’t even hold any significance to you whatsoever. By time the next election rolls around, I’ll still be a month away from being too old to vote. I’m just a fourteen year old girl with a quick temper and a penchant for history.

But like I said, it doesn’t matter if you know who I am. It doesn’t even matter if you read this. I guess I just wanted to get this off my chest, and my friends won’t understand. Of course, I don’t expect you to, either. It’s all the principle of the thing, really.

Well, I should stop rambling about how unimportant I am before you decide “forget it” and put this in the trash. That is, assuming that you’re even reading this.

The whole point of this letter, Mr. President, is one simple subject that everyone takes for granted too much: America.

I’m assuming you know why I’m sending this letter today, Mr. President? I’m sure you do. Today is December 7, 2009. Sixty-eight years ago today was the bombing of Pearl Harbor. And things like this always make me think. Well, this time I just decided to put it on paper so I don’t torture myself. It’s the plot bunnies, Mr. President. They work their magic everywhere.

World War Two has always been my favourite thing to learn about, and yet it’s the most painful. I won’t deny being a masochist, but I doubt that’s why. It could be because it’s interesting, but I think it’s much more than that. I have deep-rooted feelings about that time period; I have since I was about six. Somehow I get a sense of deja-vu when learning about it. But I don’t want to bore you with that; it’s not the point of this letter. I’m only trying to express why this is such a painful yet welcome subject for me. But it doesn’t matter.

Back to the point (once again), this is the part of history that draws me in the most, and the one I know the most about. Somehow I can connect to it. And this is one of the reasons that I tend to think a lot on days such as this.

I’m sure you’re aware that people died. It was a horrible event, and if I were there, I probably would have screamed. I nearly screamed today in math class at the thought. I can only imagine what it was like, which isn’t good because of my vivid and twisted imagination. Plus, I’ve seen pictures, and my God…

We talked about it today in Civics, but all the other students were so detatched. I couldn’t understand why or how, but I guess that either they don’t get as affected by things that didn’t happen to them, or they supressed it much better than me. A kid asked why this happened. I was thinking the same thing. I mean, I know the reasons, and the reasoning, but I just can’t fathom why anyone would do such a thing unless they were being directly attacked. And they definitely should have known that we don’t take anybody’s crap here in the US. A simple classroom analogy might be when a girl made fun of me and I threw a ruler at her head. Of course, bombing Pearl Harbor isn’t much like making fun of someone. So I suppose a better analogy would be if someone hit me in the face and I shot them in the leg. I don’t know; I’m horrible at analogies.

The point, once again, is that they shouldn’t have done it, but they did and we can’t turn that back.

Still, this day makes me think. It also makes me appreciate the country in which we live. My family spews out all this ‘we live in the greatest place in the world’ propaganda, and it annoys me even today because whether they’re right or not, they didn’t put in sufficient research, and they’ve never lived anywhere else, nor do they know anyone who does, for an adequate comparison. Then again, that’s just my inner geek talking, don’t mind her.

But still, this day makes me think a lot.

I can think of plenty of ways that I’m a horrible American: I never say the Pledge of Allegiance, because I take that kind of thing seriously, and I’m not going to just pledge myself to something without being sure that it won’t come back to bite me later. America’s not my favourite country. Sometimes I talk about moving to Canada. I sometimes spell things the British way instead of the American way. I disagree with the American government (I have ever since I started thinking for myself, instead of my parents thinking for me). I think that many Americans are rude, crude, obnoxious, and have horrible tastes in music. I don’t think the wrong side won the American Revolution, but that it just shouldn’t have happened.

The list can go on and on.

But no matter how much I say I hate America, or how much I tell myself or others that I wish I could live anywhere else, or what my favourite country is, or even how I spell things, I know that none of this can change the fact that I am an American citizen and that I love my country. I still didn’t say the pledge today, but I did. What I mean by this is that I skipped the “I pledge allegiance to” part, and went from “The flag” to “For all”. This way I was showing my respect without pledging myself to anything. It may sound silly, but I’m like that.

When I first listened to the American Idiot album, it was like I opened my eyes for the first time. I finally stopped being who my parents want me to be. They say I’ve changed, that I’m not being myself, but I know that that’s only because they took the fake me as the real me. They thought that I really was the mask I wore. But once I listened to that album, I realised that things weren’t as okay as my parents had led me to believe. I formed my own opinions. However, these opinions were also greatly influenced by a ‘friend’ of mine “ who I now see as an obstacle set for me to hurdle over. She filled my mind with Anti-American propaganda, and while I didn’t necessarily believe it I pretended to share her ideals around her. I still wasn’t out of the “I must be who people want me to be so they’ll like me” mindset. Sometimes I still find myself shifting back. The whole point is, she filled my head with these things that made me not really like or respect my country. However, I still respected and loved the United States of America deep inside, no matter how fed up I was or how much I thought I hated it.

It saddens me how people take America for granted, and then look down on me. I’m not sure I can explain it adequately. Let me try though. I suppose that it’s just because they live here they think they’re superior and they can do whatever they want. When they say “It’s a free country,” they really have no idea what they’re saying. They just take it for granted.

But even though I could be seen as the worst American ever, I’m pretty sure I’m still a better American than they are. If for nothing else, it’s simply because I truly love my country. No matter where I move I’ll always be an American and I’ll always embrace that fact. It doesn’t matter how many other nationalities I am or how much of a mutt I am because that’s what America is “ it’s so many different people and cultures all meshing together like a beautiful, colourful mosaic. Ellis Island has a gift shop in which you can buy flags of all the other countries, and merchandise with their flags on it, because even though we are Americans now we haven’t always been and we’re lucky to live in a country that honours that so much. Near my house is a building painted on which are the flags of many different Nations meshing together so it all looks like one colourful quilt. That’s what America is to me.

If America were a person, would he be proud of me? Would he hate me? Would he even care if I exist? Truthfully, I don’t know, but I think he’d at least care a bit because America is too wonderful to ever forget about his people, even the unimportant ones like me. In fact, if he is a person I hope that you show him this letter. I live in a place where I truly matter, and I’m glad for that. Even if I don’t matter, I know that I really do and in the long run I can make a difference, with passion and intelligence and manners. People like me can turn this country’s image around. We can hold doors open for people and keep our elbows off the table; we can say please and thank you and wish each other a nice day. We can study hard and be more educated than any other Nation if we really try. And gradually it can escalate from there.

Like I said, I’m not important to you. I didn’t vote for you, I can’t vote for you if you run next term. You really don’t have to listen to me or anything. But at least when I can vote I’ll know what I’m doing, and I’ll pick what’s best for my country because I love my country and I care.

You probably didn’t read this the whole way through, and that’s fine. If you did, thank you, and forgive me for being presumptuous. Like I said, I had to get this off my chest. It was bothering me, but I feel so much better now. It doesn’t matter if you read this, but I’m very grateful if you did. And if you want to reply, the return address is on the envelope. Who knows? Maybe you’ll turn us around. Maybe you can make us all proud to live in the United States of America. Maybe you can get me to say the pledge. Maybe we’ve got a chance.

So let’s get out there and show the world exactly what it means to be a citizen of the U. S. of A. Let’s show them that we are smart, we aren’t rude, we do know what we’re doing. Let’s show them that we’re not just some inexperienced country that got this far out of sheer luck. Let's show them that we're more than a bunch of obese, lazy, whiny assholes. Let's show them what we're made of.

Let’s get ‘em.

Sincerely,

Just another fourteen year old girl.
Posted on December 8th, 2009 at 12:27am

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