By Ruby Howe
The beautiful quilts my grandmother makes remind me of what makes America great – diversity! The pieces of cloth are like different people from all different places around the globe. The different designs and patterns on the fabric are everyone’s religions, races, and cultures. The individuality that makes everyone unique is what makes the quilt of America so wonderful! Grandma’s quilts need to be sewn to stay together. America is held together by the thread of freedom that brings everyone together. Without the thread of freedom and love of America, we fall apart.
This quilt of America was started by the early colonists. The change they were searching for was freedom. Some wanted religious freedom, some wanted political freedom, and some wanted economic freedom. Each had their beauty to contribute to the whole pattern that made up the new country. They knew that they would need to sometimes put their differences aside, but that didn’t mean their unique characteristics went away. The diversity of the founders of our country is what made early America great.
The quilt continues to grow and becomes more complex and more beautiful as immigrants arrive from all over the world. From the early 1800s to the present day, America has always been an oasis for immigrants from all kinds of situations. It is a place where you are free to express your individuality and your set of beliefs. You are free to practice your religion and keep your traditions alive. This love of freedom is the bond that keeps all of these new pieces attached strongly to the quilt that is our country.
Like many of my grandmother’s quilts that are in different stages of completion, lying around her sewing room, our American quilt remains unfinished. I don’t think it will ever be finished! Going forward, we need to keep in mind that our country was made from many different people from all different places. It can only become more beautiful as we continue to welcome others. E Pluribus Unum is Latin for, “from many, one.” It was our country’s first motto and it meant that the thirteen colonies needed to unite and become one nation. We can apply this idea to the present day and see that while we all come from different places, we can still all call ourselves American. This diversity is what makes America great and a beautiful piece of art – just like my grandmother’s quilts.
By Ruby Howe