Patriotism Made Personal

Written by Michael Mosley

If someone were to view patriotism as a recipe it would have three main ingredients. The most obvious ingredient is love of country. Deeply caring for the people and principles upon which this country was founded is integral to what makes up a patriot. My grandfather who is now passed, volunteered for the most controversial war of the 20th century (Vietnam) for one main reason, love. Despite the obvious danger  inevitably attached to war, my grandfather decided he loved his fellow Americans more than his life. He couldn’t stand the thought of his brothers fighting and dying without him. The second ingredient for a patriot is the will that leads to action. As powerful as words and ideas may be, they are just ink on paper unless citizens respond to a call for action. I’m not just addressing those who have fought in war. I am writing of patriots like my mother whose love of country compels her to stand. I’m speaking of my father who, is thought not a wealthy man, but puts aside money for Americans stricken by disasters. A patriot is not just an American who loves their country. A patriot is someone who loves their country enough to do something. The final ingredient is pride. As Senior Patrol Leader in my Boy Scout troop, I lead Boy Scouts of all ages in a fundraiser: we post flags in front of houses for every national holiday throughout the year. Oftentimes, an inexperienced or inattentive scout will procrastinate taking down flags until after dusk. This understandably aggravates the older clients that we serve. This older generation doesn’t  tolerate disrespect towards the flag; it offends their American pride. And I agree wholeheartedly agree with them. To the older generation, the flag means brotherly love and substantial sacrifice and they’re proud of that. Pride and love of country drove these citizens to pick up the phone and give me an irate  phone call. Patriotism means love of country, desire to serve, and pride. That is what a patriot is. That is what patriotism to me.

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