What does it mean to be an American? For most nations, if not all, in this world the uniting piece that makes them a nation is a shared ethnic, racial or tribal heritage. That is not the case in America. One can originate from any other country in the world, join a multitude of others from differing backgrounds and all be considered American. What is it that binds us together and makes us a nation? Unlike any other nation, America is bound together by an idea or a principle if you will. An idea and a experiment in self governance laid out in the Declaration of Independence and protected by the Constitution.
"All men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."