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The Meaning of Patriotism in America

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Patriotism in America is one’s pride and a love towards their country and where they show their devotion to all aspects of their country including its homeland and culture. In an honor to show that a person is a proud American, he or she expresses patriotic actions by accepting their freedoms, rights and justice, and understanding our motivation to build a greater country. In America, we celebrate 3 very important holidays: Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Veteran’s Day to show honor to our military that died fighting for our country and to celebrate America’s

To all ages of the American people, patriotism has many different meanings for each individual person. However, most can agree that the general definition of patriotism is having the freedom to learn and understand America’s history, respect and defend the changes that were made to advance us as a nation, celebrate and take pride in its victories and be devoted enough to want to make changes that will only make this country the best that it can be for future generations.

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Even though a lot of people believe in our nations and support the changes that we’ve made through the years, there are others that would argue that we have not made a lot of progress at all. As much as we make progress in America, there is still much more of a need for change due to the many diverse differences we have. In the New York Times article, The Uses of Patriotism by David Brooks, he stated “This civic religion was based on a moral premise that all men are created equal and pointed toward a vision of a promised land a place where your family or country of origin would have no bearing on your opportunities. Over the centuries this civic religion fired a fervent desire for change”. We have made many improvements throughout the years such as womens’ right to vote; all improvements can’t be done at once but with every improvement we make, it only gives people desire for more change.

Being able to defend and respect the changes that are made for the better of our nation is also showing patriotism. In a Princeton Times article, What does it really mean to a Patriotic by Lee Hamilton, he states, “Patriotism lies in our efforts to enlarge that legacy so that it applies to all citizens. It means we defend civil liberties, the right to dissent, and equality before the law of all Americans. And it means that upholding our core values — tolerance, mutual respect, the right of everyone to be heard, the belief that in pursuing our own lives and interests we all are capable of contributing to the vibrancy of our democracy — is every bit as patriotic as placing our hand over our heart while reciting the Pledge”. It is a privilege that we are even able to fight and defend our beliefs because not all countries can do that. We should be proud of that opportunity.

Having the freedom to learn and understand America’s history means understanding the challenges our nation went through and what came as a result of it. Basically, with every challenge, individuals or groups are given new freedoms to express themselves. Excerpted from President Reagan’s Farewell Speech by President Reagan, “We’ve got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom- freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. Its fragile; it needs {protection}. People in America should feel safe and not feel afrighted to be able to come out of their comfort zone”. Because of our freedom to express ourselves, people are now more comfortable showing their true personalities or beliefs.

Lastly, a true patriotic person was taught to love their country when they were young. Their parents and family were probably very patriotic and the belief to love their country was passed down to them. They take pride in one’s origin and work for the prosperity of the country. In the book, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, he expresses, “Patriotism is very important; the feeling must especially be born in the youth of the country so they act as a responsible citizen”. If enough parents teach their children to be patriotic to America, then there will be generations and generations of patriotism and love for the country passed down.

America has the freedom to learn and understand America’s history, respect and defend the changes we made for advancement, celebrate and take pride in its victories and be devoted enough to want to make changes if we see things are going wrong. And even though everyone might not agree that we are making enough changes necessary for them to believe in America, with small improvements, they will eventually start to believe and pass this down to their future generations as well. We need to be able to accept our freedoms, rights and justice, and understand our motivation to build a greater country. We need to be able to celebrate American holidays with pride and understanding of how far we’ve come. This is patriotism.

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