America’s Finest President

Cuando tena 7 aos yo le pregunte a mi abuelo: “Papa, quien es ese blanco en esa foto?”

Mi abuelo me respondi: “El es Abraham Lincoln. El libero a los esclavos negros en los Estados Unidos.”

Luego mire la otra foto a lado de la foto de Abraham Lincoln y le pregunte a mi abuelo: “Papa, quienes son esos dos hombres juntos en esa foto?”

Mi abuelo contesto: El negro es Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. El trabajo para los Derechos de los negros en Los Estados Unidos con el blanco llamado _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.


I had this conversation with my grandfather whom I called dearly Papa:

When I was seven years old, I asked my grandfather: “Papa, who is that white man in that portrait?”

My grandfather responded: “He is Abraham Lincoln. He freed the black slaves in the United States of America.”

Then, I looked at the portrait next to the one of Abraham Lincoln and I asked my grandfather: Who are these two men together in that portrait?

My grandfather responded: The black man is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He worked for rights of black people in the U.S. with the white man named _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.

Hi, my name is Jose! That was the first English sentence I learned when I first came to the United States of America from Honduras, a Five-Star country located in Latin America. I remember very cleared being on the Airplane flight, struggling to learn English by reading my English-learning book entitled “Ingles Sin Barreras.” It is learning material for Hispanics to learn English with an appropriate method, a method that was convenient to use at home and easy to comprehend. “Hi, my name is____” and I filled out the blank space with “Jos”. I wanted to say this sentence to the person sitting next to me on the plane… But I felt insecure, not sure that I would speak clearly. I was afraid of that person’s reaction to my lack of English proficiency.

I established a lot of negativity in my mind and mental barriers by saying to myself: What if this person ignores me? What if this person doesn’t understand me? Then, I said to myself: The solution to this is practice. I decided to practice “Hi, my name is Jos” over and over again; it may seem simple to you, but if you’ve tried learning a foreign language, you may appreciate the difficulty of beginnings.When I saw that the Airplane was about to arrive at the LAX International Airport, knowing that I had been practicing in my mind my first English sentence, I gathered the BOLD COMMITMENT to finally say to the person sitting next to me: Hi, my name is Jos!. That BOLD COMMITMENT that I learned since I was a child in Honduras from _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.

Today, Monday, February 08, 2010, I am honored and humbled to participate in The Transit TV Essay Contest to write about the U.S. President that I feel has had the most positive impact on the country, and that happens to be according to my point of view one of The Two America’s Finest Presidents, along with Abraham Lincoln, because of his BOLD COMMITMENT to make peace in the United States of America and the world. I am writing this essay with my limited English, but the most important thing is that it is truly from the bottom of my heart.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts. His health during his childhood all the way to his adulthood was never well, but his love for America and the world kept him going to keep America’s Promise alive. America’s Promise is deeply rooted in The American Dream that started back in 1776 when The Founding Fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence that led the Thirteen Colonies declaring independence from Britain. To be more specific and clear, The America’s Promise is written in the Constitution of the United States of America but it is needed to be realized worldwide because it is as of today Monday, February 8, 2010 the world’s most powerful promise in human history because it guaranteed powerfully Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Happiness for all, which includes everybody from all walks of life regardless of a person’s gender, race, political views, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, color of skin, socio-economic status, disability, and whatever other trivial difference. We are all one period as E-Pluribus Unum represents in Latin that out of many, we are one according to God.

Yes In God We Trust that all of us together are one family. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ understood that he needed to overcome all obstacles even his personal health and well-being to stand up and do his best to fulfill on The America’s Promise with his BOLD COMMITMENT defining America The Beautiful. America! America! God shed his grace on thee and made _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ a world hero that even inspired me as a soccer player growing in Honduras, a 5-Star country where I was admired by many including parents and people of different ages that they gave me the ambition aspired to be one day the first black President of Honduras for my BOLD COMMITMENT that I learned from him.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ suffered the greatest health condition ever including Malaria, Addison’s disease, and chronic back pain but his BOLD COMMITMENT kept him firm and loyal to America by serving in the U.S. Armed Forces upon his undergraduate career at Harvard College where he tried for almost all sports varsity teams but earned a spot on the varsity swim team and resided in John Winthrop House from his sophomore year until his graduation. He first wanted to serve with honor in the U.S. Army but he was rejected due to his pain in his back. He did not give up in serving in the U.S. Military and then he was finally accepted in the U.S. Navy during World War II. America honors those who serve her with deepest love and loyalty.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ inspired me to love America so much that if anything happen to her I will protect her with all my heart. I remember during the 9/11 Terror Attack, I was in Tegucilpalpa, Honduras studying in the National University of Honduras [Universidad National Automona de Honduras (UNAH)] as the youngest student after being graduated from High School as one of the nation’s best honors students and selected to play for the Honduras National Soccer Team under 17. That 9/11 News was terrified for me that I decided powerfully to serve in the U.S. Army to protect America The Beautiful. Out the sudden, the U.S. Embassy in Honduras granted my family a U.S. Permanent Residency sponsored by my aunt, Maria Asteria Manaiza, to come to the U.S. Learning from the lessons from my grandfather Jos Hipolito Centeno with Pen Name as Santos Centeno, who a distinguished author of a series of Civil Rights Books and history of Blacks in Latin America, I learned that _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ powerfully envisioned with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 before he was assassinated on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. That is the remarkable contribution that _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ has made for my family that were subject to so much discrimination in Honduras that they needed to come to America fulfill on The American Dream to have a better life for their families.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ inspired me to have a BOLD COMMITMENT to learn English using my library card to go the public library in South Central Los Angeles and study with all my heart the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) to enlist in the U.S. Army and I remember that with such humility my English was getting better and better talking to my beloved neighbors in South Central Los Angeles and making my mother proud while setting a great examples for my two younger brothers. I came to America in August of 2002 with my intent to serve in the U.S. Army as a U.S. Army Ranger to bring to justice those responsible for 9/11. I left everything in my country Honduras just come to protect America The Beautiful. Even though I passed the ASVAB after being in America for only three months, pass the physical test, medical test, I was not eligible due to my English. I never gave up that I kept learning English at Los Angeles Southwest College and with my love for America I was able to earn a 4.0 GPA in all my classes and my Mathematics that I was invited to Harvard University for a the Harvard Summer School with the intent to visit and see if I could join to the Harvard Men’s Soccer Team.

I remember that I choose to live in John Winthrop House where _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ used to live as a Harvard undergraduate student and in fact I spent most of my time in remembering him in his honor studying in the building named after him _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ School of Government even though my courses where in Harvard Northwest Science Building taking my Mathematics courses. However, my heart was and always been to come to UCLA because that is my dream school since I was a 10 year-old soccer player. I remember writing to Ms. Oprah Winfrey that the influence of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is so impactful and influential in television that “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” along with “The Bill Cosby Show” was our family’s favorite television sitcom show because they were the only ones where black people were not playing stereotypical roles. My two younger brothers, Jesse (named in honor of Reverend Jesse Jackson) and Luther (named in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., used to fight with me for Ashley Banks (character played by Tatyana Ali), and Jesse used to say:

“Ashley es mi novia.”
Luego Luther deca, “No, Ashley es mi novia.”
Luego yo deca, “No, Ashley es mi novia-punto.”

Luego Jesse y Luther estaban diciendo al mismo tiempo, “No, Ashley es mi novia, Jose Angel.
“Bueno entonces ustedes se quedan con Ashley y mi nueva novia es Hilary Banks (Karyn Parsons), porque ella va a UCLA.”

Translated, we’d debate:

“Ashley is my girlfriend.”
Then Luther responded, “No, Ashley is my girlfriend, Jesse.”
Then I used to say, “No, Jesse and Luther, Ashley is my girlfriend-period.”
Then Jesse and Luther would tell me at the same time, “No, Ashley is my girlfriend, Jose Angel.”
“Good, then you, Jesse and Luther, remain with Ashley and my new girlfriend is Hilary Banks (Karyn Parsons), because she goes to UCLA.”

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ has left a powerful legacy to America and the world. I am honored to meet his daughter along with Ms. Oprah Winfrey, Ms. Michelle Obama, Stevie Wonder, Maria Shriver, and many civic minded leaders on February 3, 2008 in front of crowd of 9,000 inside UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion to shout aloud CHANGE IN AMERICA NOW YES WE CAN! and being inspired by Tatyana Ali and other celebrities being on the Official Campaign Video.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ inspired me to run the nation’s best student government campaign at UCLA with the promise of uniting more than 800 UCLA registered student groups of all backgrounds under the Campaign Slogan “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” UCLA is the only university in the world that has so much diversity and many student groups that represent the beauty of America.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ has inspired me to keep going, regardless of my limited English and health condition, to end the War in Iraq through diplomatic strategies that I can learn in the U.S. Military and Pentagon and for the first time bring peace in the world. Yes it is possible to make peace in the world. As _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ did it when he prevented The Cuban Missile Crisis to become a nuclear war that could kill all the six billion people that we have living on Earth.

That is the greatest _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _’s triumph ever for America and the world. Let’s all be inspired to have BOLD COMMITMENT to make peace in the world like J o h n F. K e n n e d y. I want to follow his model to leave a legacy of Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Happiness for All.

Jos Angel Manaiza, Jr. A New All-American Boy

Author of the inspirational Pop Culture and Hollywood style-format memoir entitled:

HI, MY NAME IS JOSE! Defining America The Beautiful with the TV Tagline The Once in A Lifetime Journey of A New “All-American Boy” from Honduras to the United States of America.

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