Brandon Fisher spoke at a Flag Day ceremony that I attended last week in Greenwood County, SC. I was moved by Brandon’s essay on patriotism and wanted to share it with all of you. -JD
8th Grade Edgewood Middle School
Patriotism is the zealous love for one’s country. It’s like a disease that every man carries. It spreads from one soul to the next like an unstoppable wildfire. There is no cure for such a disease; for this is one of pure determination and pride.
The definition of patriotism cannot be defined by a dictionary, but by people. From America’s Founding Fathers to today’s courageous men and women of our military serving in Afghanistan, this disease known as patriotism fills our hearts with the will to protect freedom. Patriotism is what gave George Washington the courage to fight the super power of the world and take charge of an unstable colony. Patriotism gave him courage.
Patriotism is why America leads the world. Men and women have a deep will to work and succeed. This disease is why Neil Armstrong stepped onto uncertain ground. He wanted to show the world that his nation had accomplished something no other had. He took the leap onto the moon to prove his patriotism.
In the Second World War, there was a shortage of workers needed to fulfill the cry for war supplies. Millions of women stepped up to show their love and determination for their country. They worked to fulfill a call that men could not due to war. Patriotism filled their hearts and gave them the bravery to do what was then a man’s work.
Patriotism is in all our hearts. We may not always know it until the call comes upon us. Patriotism may be a disease, but it is one no man should have any intention of curing. It brings out compassion, courage, work ethics, and bravery in us all.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines patriotism as love for or devotion to ones country. However, the word patriotism strikes lots of mixed emotions all over the United States. Some people describe themselves as involved patriots because they fly their American flag outside in their yards, when others see the word patriotism as disgusting, the seed of racism.
Patriotism to me, along with many others, means of course to have love for our homeland, our country, to support, serve and defend, to be inspired by, to change for the better and to care deeply for fellow Americans. After September 11th, a lot of people showed their love for this country by doing things like standing in line to donate blood, registering with the army, or even as little as wearing the American colors. Patriots support the countries authorities, laws, and interest. However this does not mean that true Americans should agree with whatever the President of the United States has to say and be blinded by what’s really going on in America. One of the biggest issues today is that people feel like the President has used patriotism with the American people to start a war with other countries. New posters in store windows along with billboards posted along the roads encourage the American people to become one and to show their love for their country. I believe that true patriotism doesn’t have to be encouraged but is something that we feel 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year long. Patriotism is to be proud of where you are from, and to love everyone around you weither they are natives of that country or not. Patriotism is not to have hate for anyone that’s foreign, or to think your country is better or strong then others for no reason.
On the other hand, patriotism to some people is a superstition that is artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of this self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit. Instead of being just a love of ones country, these people believe that the patriotic individual is blinded by what the government is telling us. That patriots will go along with any ideas the government may have if put in a manner that concerns their country. People that don’t believe in patriotism also believe that to be patriotic requires allegiance to the flag, which means obedience and readiness to kill father, mother, brother and sister. The September 11th attack is a perfect example to help support this idea behind patriotism. After hearing that another country would do such a thing, people everywhere signed up to go into the Army for war. Without really knowing what they were getting themselves into, young men, old men, even women were willing to just go kill others that had nothing to do with attack in a sense. If this point is raised then the patriotic people can raise the point that the people that did sign up might have been for war with this country but they were standing up for their country and the people that died in the attack. After all, that is the real definition of patriotism.
I believe that there are different levels of patriotism. To have patriotism and to love the country that you where born and live, to love the people around you and to want to wave the American flag in your yard is to show your patriotism. To hate people of different races just because they aren’t from the land you love so much, or to go along with anything the government says without understand it just because they say it will do your country good, all of this is not patriotic.
Different people have different reasons why they are patriotic and how they choose to be so. There is a long line of people in my family that has fought for our country and freedom, even some deaths. This is one reason why my family is so patriotic. Just because my family has a huge American flag flying high in the front yard 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year long with a spot light on it, doesn’t mean we have the obedience and readiness to kill father, mother, brother and sister. We do it because we love the American flag and what it stands for.
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