YOUR VIEWS: What makes us the UNITED States?

These reader comments appeared on the Ideas and Voices page Sunday, Nov. 1. An editorial and columns that printed that day are linked below.

What makes us Americans.

As delicious as it is, the answer is not apple pie. It is also not baseball or fireworks on the Forth of July.

So much talk focuses on what divides us as a nation as we head toward the election.

But what unites us? What makes us a union worth preserving?

Community Impact Editor Amelia Robinson asked Facebook users. Below is a sample of responses edited for clarity.

Credit: STAFF

Credit: STAFF

“We are a nation of laws, not men. Our constitution is one of the most powerful inventions in all of human history. It grants us extraordinary individual freedoms unlike anywhere else on Earth. Political parties exist to divide us, to highlight our differences. But the constitution speaks only of We the people of these United States. There is only one people.” ― Kevin McClory

“The fundamental values of democracy, liberty and the common good.” ― Kristie Riley

“Free speech. Free press.” ― Janelle Wood

“Accepting people for who they are and what they believe in.” ― Helen Combs Stengel

“Our collective love for movie theater popcorn?” ― Andy Gee

“Humor unites us more than it divides. That and music. Movies. Shows. Dancing. Entertainment. The arts — we take them for granted, but they enrich our lives and bring joy to each of us. We should invest more time, energy and money in them.” ― Stefanie Badders Laufersweiler

“Americans live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.” ― Celestine Taylor-Davis

“I thought about this especially after that ‘The Newsroom’ clip about, ‘America is no longer the greatest country.’ We actually lead the world in charitable giving. We are compassionate. We do care about humanity, it just manifests in a variety of forms. We can unite under that.” ― Jeremey Gingrich

“Ignorance seems to be the greatest unifying force in this country. This rumor of freedom seems worth exploring a little while longer.” ― Richard Wilson

“I worked at Gem City Records almost 20 years ago. The one group that everyone in the store could agree upon was Hall & Oates. Let’s start there.” ― Atalie Gagnet

“As a place where, with hard work and sacrifice, one can build a life and a legacy for those who come after us.” ― Jeff Ortega

“Decency in caring for one another. Honor for each person’s work. Acceptance of our differences. Respect for the Constitution and acceptance that no one is above the law. And a sincere respect for a really good cocktail.” ― Sandy Bashaw

“The nation is a man-made construct and adds to division. Our shared humanity unites us all, regardless of what borders we live within.” ― Peter Benkendorf

“To me the thing that brings people together if at all, is the music...Music is the universal language. Everybody understands the music. I was on the subway in Chicago in 2010 and I spied an old African American guitarist playing for tips. I went up to him and asked if he knew the blues and I started singing songs with him. When we started into ‘My Girl’ by the Temptation, two other gentlemen started singing back up with me. I came to find out after they were homeless. We kept playing and a lot of people gathered round to listen, not caring that they had missed their car and had to wait for the next one. We played for over an hour and we had the best time. We were laughing and talking after and talking about how the music brought us together even though we came from different walks of life and socioeconomic backgrounds. It was an awesome experience and something I will never forget.” ― Ryan Roth

“Diversity and love. There are still good people out there.” ― Jason Wright

“I super duper love the no other place like it vibe. Our music, sports, culture, regions, cities people families... I’m a no where else type woman.” ― Felicia Chappelle

“What makes us a union worth preserving? Our future generations. When a parent looks at her/his kid(s), they are reason enough for a better world.” ― Jehanne Dufresne