What Does Patriotism Mean to You?
Many people have different views on the meaning of patriotism. Some proudly stand at a Memorial Day parade and wave the American flag or watch fireworks on the 4th of July. Others salute an American veteran or donate to an organization that supports housing or healthcare for veterans; some people may have lost a loved one while serving in the military, so they volunteer for any organization that promotes patriotism. It is all of that, and so much more. American patriotism is also community involvement – being engaged in community events and helping each other – helping people when you can.
The following is an excerpt from Patriotism in America, A Historian Says It’s “Alive and Well,” by Cynthia Tintorri, (2015):
Long before current technology edged its way into everyone’s lives, a young man was making his way back home on a very desolate rural dirt road. About halfway through his journey, he realized he had a flat tire. He happened upon an older gentleman, a Marine veteran who took him to his own home, found a tire, drove the young man back to his car, and changed the flat for him.
“I’ll be back to pay you,” the young man told the veteran.
“No, son, I don’t want you to pay me,” the old man said. “I did what I did because I’m patriotic. If you want to pay me, I want you to spend your life being patriotic, too. Help people out when you can. That’s how you can repay me.” (Tintorri, 2015)
So, help people out when you can. That is community involvement. That is patriotism.
Reference: Tintorri, C., (2015), Patriotism in America, “A Historian Says it’s Alive and Well,” https://www.northampton.edu/news-archive/2015/november/patriotism-in-america.htm