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Belted Navy Romper by Simone $54.00 Suede Pumps by Qupid $36.00 The Naturals Collection by Melissa SanMarco $75.00-$225.00 (all pieces custom designed)

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A COUNTRY REUNITED By: Jessica Stevens “ I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us." - President Barack Obama, January 2011, Tucson, Arizona

When the crowd at the Phillies v. Mets game on Sunday May 1, 2011 began to cheer loudly, it was not because of a home run or an obnoxious streakier. The loud chants, woo-hoo's, and whistles that developed into a robust "U-S-A!" chant was the result of the news of Osama Bin Laden's death sweeping through the stadium like a wild fire. In front of the White House, the large crowd gathering with American flags was not a political group protesting President Obama; it was a group of patriotic Americans rejoicing in the justice done for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

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From Time Square to the corners of Shaw and Blackstone, the atmosphere wasn't much different. American flags were energetically waved under the streetlights and patriotic cheers strong in numbers created a scene America has not seen in a long time. Patriotic unity. We got a glimpse of collective patriotism in the days leading up to May 1, 2011 as our neighbors across the pond unified to celebrate the wedding of Prince William of Wales to Catherine Middleton. As I caught clips of the wedding on the news, I saw hundreds of thousands of British citizens waving the British flag while unapologetically proclaiming their

pride to be British. I found myself realizing America has not had a moment like that in quite some time. While we have had fleeting moments of unification in wake of tragedies such as the Arizona shooting, and can see instances of it among political groups following legislative achievements and election victories, none of theses events brought us the unity we found late Sunday, May 1. The past three years have been very difficult for America. Our economy slid into the worst recession since the Great Depression, unemployment remains


painfully high, we are still in two (perhaps three) wars that seem to have no tangible end, and our nation is facing major philosophical decisions in how we deal with our 14+ trillion dollar debt, borders, and sovereign future. The decisions we must make as a nation are daunting, and our times so difficult, that our frustrations have played out in divisive politics. And yes, both sides are guilty. Rather than working as a united people and using our ingenuity to create solutions to the problems we face, it feels we have broken into two sides both claiming to be the real Americans- claiming the dissenters of our views are out to ruin our country. The stress of tough times and big decisions has heightened political differences, driven a wedge smack dab in the center of American political discourse, and created tension that has certainly put a damper on our unification as a nation. The key to getting out of our predicament will not be found in continuing divisive politics. It will not be found in political groups touting their righteousness; brazenly forcing their agenda; or refusing to play along in the Democratic process. Our key to healing the economy and creating long-term policies to solve our issues is to find the forces that unite us, and nourish them so they are stronger than those that divide us. It won't be easy; it won't be fun; it will take compromise; it will take sacrifice, but we cannot give up. We didn't give up in the American Revolution, we didn't give up in the Civil War, WW1, The Great Depression,

WW11, or in the wake of September 11, 2001. If we give up now, every instance of perseverance in the past was achieved in vain. Call me an optimist wearing thick rose-colored lenses, but I believe a catalyst in finding our unity again will be rediscovering our passion in being Americans. That statement is not to imply that we as citizens are not patriotic, but rather to say that we haven't collectively united under our patriotism in quite some time. On May 1st 2011 we felt our passion for our country a little deeper. It felt good to be an American that day, and in the days that followed. On the surface the assassination of Osama Bin Laden united the U.S. because it brought justice and a sense of closure to the events of 9/11. More so, it united us because it tapped into a sense of love for freedom and perseverance that has been quintessentially American since the 18th century. For the first time in a long time, we left our politics behind us and united as a people to celebrate an American victory. Our country needed something like this to bring us back together. Waking up on May 2, 2011 America's burdens, while still present, seemed a bit lighter. Our political affiliations took a back seat to being an American. If we can take anything away from this historical moment, it is that we as a country are stronger when united than divided. National reaction to Bin Laden's death is evidence our patriotism remains our common thread and most powerful asset.

“Our country needed something like this to bring us back together.�

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VOICES OF FRESNO STATE A CENTURY OF EXCELLENCE By: Valerie Nevens Ciara Norton

Growing up in Fresno, my aspiration was to one day become a Fresno State Bulldog just like David Carr, the quarterback I cheered for as a kid in Bulldog Stadium. I still remember the first time I set foot on the campus. It was the summer of 2000 and I was a wide-eyed 11-year-old there to see the video my brother had made as part of the Summer Arts program. Fresno State seemed larger-than-life and I couldn’t stop staring with curiosity at the statues in what I know now is the Peace Garden and the sculptures between the art and music buildings. Was this a university, I thought, or an art museum?

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HIS GIRL PHOTOGRAPHER: ART DIRECTION & STYLIST: HAIR STYLIST: MAKEUP ARTIST: MODELS:

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HiS Magazine May/June 2011