In observance of Constitution Day, Erie Community College students, who are from countries where they had no rights, presented essays on how they see the U.S. Constitution.
At ECC's City Campus, May Wah said, in Burma they had no freedom of speech, no freedom of religion, or the Right to Vote. And she says her two uncles were killed by Burmese soldiers.
"My family always had to hide because of the soldiers. If we spoke out directly against them, they would kill us. So I'm very happy to have freedom in the U.S. to say what I'm thinking without anyone hurting me or killing me. I respect freedom. Losing my family that I love so much was very hard," Wah said.
Ayat Muhamedmadi says, as a refugee from Iraq, freedom of speech is very important to her.
"I can't forget when my father was killed and we found the people that killed him. But we couldn't say anything to them or to anyone because they had some kind of power in the government. My mother did not want to put us in danger so we had to leave the country," Muhamedmadi said.
The goal of the day's program is to celebrate diversity and help create an inclusive atmosphere across ECC's three campuses - which includes students from 64-different countries.