America is one of the most diverse countries in the world. Several years ago, my family and I were blessed with the opportunity of living in Germany while my father was deployed to Ramstein AB. We lived in a little German village and travelled to many places all over. It was incredible to see not only the geography and landscape of many countries all across Europe, but also to be able to experience their life and culture. When we arrived back in the states after being gone for several months, two things in particular struck me; not only the diverseness of our own country’s landscape, but also the diversity of our people. Even though the United States is made up of people with many different national origins, we don’t equate our nationality with ethnicity, but rather with citizenship and allegiance.
The Diversity of Our People
“America is not like a blanket- one piece of unbroken cloth.
America is more like a quilt-
many patches, many pieces, many colors, many sizes,
all woven together by a common thread.”
-Rev. Jesse Jackson
The United States are made up not only of Native Americans, but of people who came from all over the world. In my own family, for example, my grandmother five generations back was a Seminole Indian named Siota Rainwater. My great-grandfather was a full blooded German. Another great-grandfather was described as being a red-headed, blue-eyed Irishman. I have ancestors who were English, Scottish, Irish and not only Seminole Indian, but also Cherokee. Most Americans have a similar story – having varying and unique family backgrounds.
The Diversity of Our Landscape
“Oh beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
~ Katherine Lee Bates
Geographically, the United States of America is one of the most diverse countries in the world. From mountains to prairies, rainforests to desserts, arctic to tropical, bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, not to mention volcanic mountains, large bodies of water, arctic tundra, canyons, glaciers, densely populated areas, as well as vast wilderness. The U.S is also home to the tallest mountain in the world, Mauna Kea, in Hawaii. Yes, this is actually taller than Mount Everest. Don’t believe me – look it up!
The Diversity of Our Climate
“You’d be hard-pressed to find another patch of land on Earth the size of the USA that boasts such a variety of such intensely extreme weather inside its borders.” ~meteorologist and author Robert Henson
As far as climate goes, the United States falls within the borders of five different climate zones, tropical, subtropical, temperate, subpolar and polar. We also have some of the most drastic weather extremes, such as drought, flooding, hurricanes, tornados, wildfires, blizzards, heat waves and cold snapes. The U.S. also has the most severe weather storms each year than any other country. Additionally, tornadoes are nearly a uniquely American phenomenon, the U.S. experiencing about 80% to 90% of all of the tornadoes that occur across the world. Another interesting fact, the largest hailstone ever recorded fell in Coffeyville, Kansas on September 3, 1970. It measured over 5.6 inches in diameter and weighed almost 2 pounds!
Diversity is one of the many aspects of America that makes our country unique and truly great. Even though we are culturally diverse we all come together with one common goal, freedom. Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom and the right to bear arms and so many more. Freedom, it’s what our flag stands for and brings our many diverse aspects together.
“America stands unique in the world: the only country not founded on race but on a way, an ideal. Not in spite of but because of our polyglot background, we have had all the strength in the world. That is the American way.” ~ Ronald Reagon