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The Great Responsibilities

 In class we have talked about the rights and responsibilities we have as Citizens of the United States of America. I would like to write about how the citizens of America are failing to uphold their civic responsibilities.

The United States of America is a country founded by the people and for the people. On July 4th 1776 our founding fathers risked their lives to found a country based on these two principles. In return for their sacrifice our great nation asks very simple things. To be a citizen of the greatest nation in the world one has very simple and very justified responsibilities. Support and defend the Constitution, serve the country when required, participate in the democratic process, respect and obey federal, state, and local laws, respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others, participate in your local community. All are responsibilities that one must uphold every day. All are responsibilities that can be done without the simplest effort. Unfortunately, all are responsibilities that an increasing number of citizens of the United States fail to uphold  due to a growing number of people taking for granted the freedoms of this country.

I would first like to thank all of those service men and women who so honorably serve each and every one of us and keep us safe without asking anything in return. Though your work may seem to go unnoticed I can assure you, it does not. Unfortunately, The United States is not over supplied with those individuals so willing to serve. There are an increasing number of individuals who not only refuse to serve our country but actually protest any type of conflict our country gets involved in. Though we as citizens have the right to protest we also have the responsibility to serve our country when required. During the Vietnam War between the years 1965 and 1970 more than 170,000 registrants applied for conscientious objector status. (http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/conscientious_objector.aspx) By the wars end there were actually more conscientious objectors than actual draftees. This is unfortunately the direction our country is still headed in the lack of service and support.

Unfortunately this is not the only thing the citizens of America are dodging. There has been a steady decline in voter participation since the 1900s. Currently voter participation ranges from 55% to about 65%. Around the 1860s voter participation was at 80%. One of the responsibilities of the citizens of the United States is to participate in the voting process. Earlier in the year we were asked what 17-18 year old can do to become engaged in American government. One of the best things that young adults of America can become engaged in the government is to become aware of the political process and to become aware of the importance of actually participating in any political process that affects them. They can vote for city council, for mayor, for police chief, for congressmen, and all the way up to voting for the President. The future of our countries voter participation lies in the hands of the youth. To become aware and engaged will make America a better place.

People keep taking for granted the freedoms the get when being a citizen of the United States but in order to be a citizen you must fulfill the responsibilities that come with that great privilege.

Categories: Learning
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