American’s pride

Some time ago, Steve Saltzmam Jr. sent in a poem penned by the immortal poet “anonymous.” After its appearance in The Northern Star, there were several letters critical of its content. I saved the poem in question and feel compelled to write this letter both supporting and rebutting the poem and poet.

One stanza states: “I live in the greatest country in the world at the greatest time in history, but I scorn the ground I stand upon.”

People around the world are dying to come to the United States of America. Governments around the world are imprisoning and killing their citizens in an effort to prevent their emigration to this country.


The answer: The United States is, even now, the land of opportunity, the great “melting pot” of culture, experience and freedom. Even persons intending to return to their native soil value these qualities of the U.S.

The poem in reference has, as its closing stanza, the following: “I am ashamed, but I am proud, I am an American.”

Certainly, there are specific historical incidents about which we, as Americans, should feel badly. These are, however, in the most part, failures of the end result, and not failure of intent. The United States has even at its very darkest political hour, done more to advance freedom on this tired old earth than any other nation in history. Only those persons expressing “shame” in the U.S. deny this fact. Even in the face of growing resistance to the freedom and opportunity offered by the United States, this fact remains. I find shame and embarrassment only in the portrayal of the United States as an oppressor, not in the reality of the freedom and opportunity which it represents.

Although, as an American, I can be pompous and arrogant, I am nonetheless proud to be an American and to represent the positive aspects of the United States. I am proud and happy to count as my friends people of many diverse cultures, beliefs and nationalities (many who feel for their own nations what I feel for my own).

Carl. H. Witt, Jr.