Celebrate America Creative Writing Contest: 

Minnesota/North Dakota/Sourth Dakota

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2014 Winner

"Why I Am Glad America Is A Nation Of Immigrants" 

Photo Credit: J. Stephen Conn

By: Saliem Eskinder

Noble Elementary School, Golden Valley


Why am I glad America is a Nation of Immigrants?

There are many reasons why…

Every reason I have leads down to my family.

But not just MY family,

They are my people of Eritrea.


One simple word can explain everything that happened,


Like all wars,

This was a war that drew families apart,

It was a war that made an emotional scar in everyone’s heart…


I wonder Why…

WHY do wars happen?

Why do they occur so often?


Difficulty spread on most families to live through,

And not give up during this war.

If it was not for my family’s capability,

And America accepting them into this country as immigrants,

They most likely would have been

KILLED or died a most tragic DEATH.


All the wars that have happened over the years in different countries,

All around the world,

Causing everyone to flee,

Almost everyone chose America to come to.

It was a very wise choice.

America invited them all as immigrants.

And they all invited America into their hearts.

Even though everyone had to come to America at separate times,

And not everyone in Eritrea had made it,

Those who did are now safe in the hands of America.


It’s a very sad thought just to think of what could have happened to everyone who did not make it…


It took many years for us to adapt to our new surroundings,

Mainly because back in Eritrea,

Many homes were humble huts made of mud,

Think about it…

Huts, to houses and apartments,

That’s a pretty big change to get used to!

But there were also cities in Eritrea,

So the people that lived in those cities didn’t really feel any different here,

Apart from the fact that they missed, and yearned to go back to their homeland.


Sadly, it was in great desolation when they came back to seek their loved ones…Especially the village of the Red Sea,


The buildings were in ruins!

Some of them were just too much in destruction,

So we simply kept them as monuments.


It’s not a very big surprise though,

The Red Sea was the cause of the war.


Oh, but look at us now!

After all the work Eritreans put into it,

After all the pain and labor,

With all of our buildings repaired,

Our proud country shines brighter than the stars!


So I am Thankful.

Thankful that America was opening their hearts to us,

Thankful that we are safe,

Thankful that we live in peace now.


Although many families grieved over the losses of their loved ones,


We FOUGHT through it.

But we will always remember them,

We won’t EVER forget!!!

Just as we will never forget how America took us in as immigrants.


Always appreciate everything that you have in your life,

Because in just one split second,

You could lose every single ounce of it.

That is the reason,


Why I am glad America is a Nation of Immigrants.



© American Immigration Council 2014




2013 Winner


by Zoe Calderon


My life flashes before  my eyes

as I see my life without immigration.


Who would I be? Certainly not me.


Every moment in my life would be gone.

It feels like I'm not here.


When I spark back to reality, my life scares me.


Like silent thoughts.


I try too think about the  past but it hurts to much.


I think about how lucky people are who immigrated here safely,

how happy their families might be.

It helps me calm down. Thanks to immigration

their family could be playing oh so very happily.


I calm down.


Lay down.  Go to bed


I also, wish  people and families who immigrated here

good luck  and fortune.


Then my eyelids get heavy and  I fall asleep.


Dreaming of how great it is

that we are a nation of immigrants,


And thanking immigrants

for all the things they have brought into my life in America the  FREE.


© American Immigration Council 2013