The 2024 'Celebrate America' Creative Writing Contest Winner: Stories of Us

by American Immigration Council Staff

Stories of Us

I sit
By the windowsill
Gazing outside.
Down, on the street, so many heads,
Each is unique.
Amidst the traffic and frantic honking,
I sense the presence of
Millions of others,
Just like me.

I contemplate
The journeys. Each of us— All of us have a story.
When mothers and fathers
Ventured far across the world,
Their sense of adventure leads
Them in search of a new life.

Then I think
About all the diverse people,
And a myriad of languages,
Some foreign to one, but familiar to another.
When I open my window,
I hear those languages harmonizing,
Merging together to form a chorus.
But not just any choir.

The symphony of every single person’s story,
A song where every note counts.

I think about the stories
That father would tell me.
About my father’s mother and
His migratory voyage.

My father’s trip to America,
With only 300 dollars in his suitcase,
And a brain

I ponder about each and every one
of the people in my neighborhood
And I wonder
Why father would be willing
To relinquish everything
To speak in a foreign tongue.

I think about his pride
In having dual nationalities.
About being able to keep his
traditions close to heart,
and embracing a new part of himself.

Then my thoughts drift to school.
All of the different students,
Each of us with our own stories.
The accounts of our ancestors,
And all that they sacrificed.
For us.

Each and every one of us,
To be here.
At this moment.
Right now.

To be present,
Someone had to work hard.
Someone had to shed tears of exhaustion,
Leaving behind familiar joy and wonder,
Leaving behind family and friends,

To create new memories and stories
In one country,
Forming one grand story.
But this story
Isn’t just any story.
It is the story of us.
The U.S.
The story of the United States of America.

The winner of the 2024 Celebrate America Contest is Angela Du from New York. The Celebrate America Contest is made possible by the Murthy NAYAK Foundation.

This post originally appeared on Immigration Impact Reprinted with permission.

About The Author

American Immigration Council Staff Our mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, we provide policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society. Our reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policy makers. Our staff regularly serves as experts to leaders on Capitol Hill, opinion-makers and the media. Formed in 2003, we are a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office.

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