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Celebration reminds us that we are one nation

We had been waiting for the parade in lower Manhattan to start for around an hour, when we were approached by two younger girls who asked us to take their picture. They had colorfully decorated signs, apparel, stickers, glitter, and went the distance to show the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team their support and love.
After we took their pictures, we stuck around to chat with our new friends and get to know them a little. They had traveled from Northern Vermont to see their World Cup champs wave to them from the parade. Both explained to us that they were seniors in high school and going off to their freshman years of college in the fall, that they met at soccer camp when they were little girls, and that soccer is what made their friendship so strong.
We explained to them that we were students also, but that, being from New Jersey and Ohio, we were unfamiliar with their hometowns and the colleges they were going to. However, we were all there for the same reason: to celebrate our country’s victorious women’s soccer team in their ticker tape parade.
I saw signs of holiness in the thousands of people who stood together, on the Canyon of Heroes parade route. It seemed that every person in the crowd shared one purpose—celebrating these women. We were all eager, excited, and ready to see these women who had been representing the United States celebrate on the parade route that had been traveled by many championship teams before. This celebration was an opportunity, on a Wednesday morning in July, for all Americans to come together and be supportive and excited for the women who had won another World Cup title.
The holiness comes from putting our differences aside and supporting our country. At the end of the day, we are all Americans. We share the same history, pride, and flag, and we proudly raised 50 stars and 13 stripes on flags, t-shirts, headbands, signs, and so much more to show the U.S. Women that we were happy for them, excited for them, and always rooting for them in the place we all call home.
The women’s team motto is “one nation, one team.” In our Pledge of Allegiance, we state that we are “one nation, under God.” It is only fitting that the two are lines combined, one nation, one team, under God—which is exactly what most of the parade goers and team members experienced that day. One team, one parade route, lined with people supporting other people, proudly representing America.
Anne Howath is a senior communications major at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Annie plans to pursue a career in digital media and marketing. She is the editor-in-chief of the SJU Her Campus chapter and a former intern for Katz Media Group and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. “I am very grateful for my summer at RENEW,” she says, “and I have been learning a lot about working in a nonprofit environment!”

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