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Ever ask your Grandma what life was like “back in her day”? You might have gotten the standard answer: When I was a kid, we had good music, no inappropriate television, no fancy technology, folks went to church, and I walked to school, rain or shine! Well, what about the small things that grandparents, or text books for that matter, don’t usually mention? What about the fact that they had to memorize all the presidents? Or that American history was taught in all years of schooling? Maybe they didn’t think to bring up the worth they put on constitutional values? Did they mention how America was one unified country and how everyone loved their country?
If you ask them, they would call that patriotism.
Lately though, patriotic is an adjective that seems to have faded away, along with groovy, boss, nifty, and swell. You might say: “Who cares? This is the twenty first century, get with the program!” Most people these days tend to have that opinion. Ever since the 1960’s (aside from 9/11, when patriotism swelled) The United States has seen a dwindling enthusiasm for our country. Traitorous patriots, if you will. This can be very problematic for the stability of our nation.
One second, let me make myself clear on what patriotism actually is. Marian Webster, one of the most commonly used dictionaries, defines a patriot as one who has feelings of pride or love for their country, but will not blindly follow the government. In other words, they love the people of the country and what it stands for, but they take after the founding fathers’ example and keep the government’s power at a minimum. This is often confused with jingoism and nationalism. Great examples of these terms are the Nazis. They wanted military glory and aggressive actions in the name of Germany. We don’t want that. You don’t need to ‘Heil Obama’ or conquer Canada. Learning the names of the states, hanging a flag outside your house, or saying the Pledge of Allegiance would be nice though.
Besides, face it; you’d be pretty silly not to be proud to live in America. We really are one of the best countries. You don’t see immigrants flocking to China! You are all in Humanities too; it’s pretty obvious why our nation is so great.
Then what happened to the passion?
It could be our meek and measly morals.
Wait, we have morals?
Well, we used to any ways. Back in the stone ages, our grandparents LIVED by the constitution. There was discipline and everyone had a general agreement on what was morally right and wrong. Sure it varied a little from religion to religion, state to state, but now it varies from house hold to house hold. There are, roughly, 114,825,428 households in America. How can we be united if everyone goes by their own set of rules?
Another cause of the patriotism lag could be from the conflict between the political parties. These days, there seems to be a Republican America and a Democratic America. I’m not saying that the parties should be abolished, they are important to making sure all our voices are heard. Maybe though, all the conflict needs to be kept at a minimum.
And what happened to common sense? These days, people are protesting at soldiers funerals, erecting mega mosques just yards away from Ground Zero, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Poor judgment is also affecting the state of our country.
Yeah, the United States aren’t looking very united these days. It was only 50 years ago (which isn’t very long ago when you think about it) when kids were not only saying the Pledge of Allegiance in school every day, but were also singing the national anthem. Why don’t we sing the anthem? Because I’m sure EVERYONE in this country knows it by heart. The anthem aside, even the Pledge isn’t being said by some kids, by instruction of their parents. They take offense to the word ‘God’. They have to go and make a big deal. I respect their opinions, but now, some kids aren’t saying the Pledge just because they can. Is it really so hard to skip over the God part if you have an issue with it? Better yet, interpret God to your own meaning, whether it be Jesus Christ, Mother Nature, Buddha, Zeus, or Chuck Norris. Lack of patriotism is very apparent here.
Speaking of lacking, remember those 114,825,428 households? How many of them do you think have flags? Well, in my particular grade 38% of us have American Flags in the front yard. That’s not too bad, but what happened to the other 62%?
There are patriots out there though. They are ordinary Americans that have such a love for their country and the people that live here, that they die to protect us and the original American values.
I’m talking about our soldiers.
The sacrifice of their life is the ultimate expression of patriotism. They give their very lives because they believe in what their country stands for.
Iraq War on terror- 4,410 men and woman perished, Revolutionary war- 4,435 soldiers, Korean war- 33,741, Vietnam war- 58,209, WWI- 116,516, WWII 405,399.
1,190,109 total service men and woman have died protecting our country and our values. We are also the only country in the world that goes over seas to help others escape persecution and death.
What an amazing country we live in.
Maybe the military isn’t for everyone, but it seems wrong to curse the name of the United States because of some phrase, or piece of legislature, when these people are the pinnacle of patriotism. They understand the greatness of our country because they have seen the terrible poverty, the corrupt governments, and horrendous terrorism of other countries. Have you tried to look over our boarders lately? Could it be that we take America for granted, that we fail to see what there is to be proud of?
Something needs to change in our country, or I fear the United States are in for some horribly tough(er) times.