Posted by Nathaniel on February 24, 2019
https://www.youthvoices.live/2019/02/24/american-means-eagles/

American Means Eagles

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “American”? You’re a cold-blooded liar if you answered anything except “a big bald eagle”. The eagle represents everything Americans stand for: soaring majestically over everything else, providing a swift end to our enemies, and baldness. Do I really need to prove it? Fine. The following is a conclusive, unquestionable, evidence-laden description of the cold, hard, avian fact that being American and being an eagle are one and the same.

For our first batch of rock-solid evidence, we have American Marine Corps Veteran Tegan Griffith. There’s the obvious observation that both eagles and Marines hunt and kill their enemies, but we’re going to go a little deeper than that. When she goes to Iraq to serve her country, what is her medium of transportation? She doesn’t take a boat; that wouldn’t be the American way. She takes a plane. That flies. Just like an eagle.

The New York Times interviewed a bunch of people and asked them what it means to be American. None of them had the wisdom to say “being an eagle”, but one person got close. He said “If you work hard, you get good things in life”. The eagle doesn’t get anything for free. It needs to scour the countryside looking for prey. Hard work is definitely something both eagles and Americans share.

Even fictional characters allude to the eagle when they speak of America. In the opening scene of “The Newsroom”, a news anchor is portrayed as conflict-avoiding, dodging every question he receives. So when he gives a detailed answer to the last question, why America is the greatest country in the world, the audience thinks that this one must be really important for him to break his silence. And his answer: America is not the greatest country in the world. Just like the eagle isn’t the greatest bird in the world! It’s not the biggest; that would be the condor. It’s not the fastest; that’s the peregrine falcon. It’s not the most adaptive or successful; that’s the pigeon. And yet many are of the opinion that the eagle is the best bird ever. Have you ever seen an analogy match so perfectly?

Works cited: “Marine Life in the Midwest.” Facing History and Ourselves, www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/video/marine-life-midwest-tegan-griffith, “The Way North.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 18 May 2014, www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/us/the-way-north.html?_r=0#p/39., “The Newsroom” HBO, HBO. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPHSXUS0_1c