One of the vocabulary terms that we learn as students in school growing up is Patriotism. As we learn about national and global history, there are many people who stand out in history as patriots for their country, and for freedom. During the summer months, in the United States of America, several patriotic holidays are celebrated, the most notable, the 4th of July holiday, celebrating U.S. independence.
In the United States, July 4th is Independence Day, celebrated in the entire country. Citizens show their patriotism by flying American flags, and wearing red, white and blue.
What is Patriotism?
Pride in one own's country
The dictionary definition of the word Patriotism is "devoted love, support, and defense of one's country; national loyalty." (Dictionary.com) Yet, in many ways, I believe that patriotism is a word that really can only be defined by the actions of the people that show patriotism. Patriotism is a very difficult definition to pin down, because patriotism can be acted upon in many ways, and for numerous reasons.
There are the obvious acts of heroism, committed by recognized soldiers in battle, and the incredible sacrifices that ordinary people make to save others, such as the passengers of the United Airlines Flight 93 that went down during 9/11.
Yet, there are minute acts of heroism that are acted upon every day by people going about their daily lives, who take a few minutes out of their day to write a letter to a young soldier, or volunteer their skills to help improve their country. It is the collection of these patriotic acts, large and small that truly defines what patriotism is.
Where liberty dwells, there is my country. ~Benjamin Franklin
Fighting for Freedom
Patriots fight or defend the freedom of their country
Patriotism is often used synonomously with fighting for freedom or defending the freedom of a country. And most often patriotism is the term assigned to soldiers who commit acts of bravery while fighting to defend or protect a country.
However, it is important to note that patriotism does not have to be fighting in battle, nor does it have to be fighting. A patriot is a person who stands up for their country, and may be a statesman who influences others to show pride in their country, or a person, who through their own heroic actions, protects their country against disastrous circumstance.
Patriotism is an Emotion
We feel patriotic pride in our country
Patriotism is tied to a real emotion, actually, more than one emotion. Patriotism is a mixture of pride, and love. When we sing patriotic songs, wear the colors of our country's' flag, or shoot off fireworks on national holidays, we are feeling patriotic pride. We honor our country with these actions.
When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect. ~Adlai Stevenson
Patriotism is Building Our Country
Making our country be strong and healthy
Patriotism is also shown by doing things within your country to make it a stronger and healthier country. Every time you build a business, create jobs for out of work people, help repair weather damage, or help out survivors of an area of your country that has been devastated through circumstance, you are helping your country survive and grow stronger. Contributing to the development of economic, scientific, or medical advances helps the people of your country. Helping those people who live in your country help themselves is also an act of patriotism. Because a country is only as strong as the people who make up the country.
God Bless the U.S.A
And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
Showing Our Patriotism
There are hundreds of ways of showing our patriotism
The United States of America is a country that was founded on the striving for freedom, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom to voice opinions that are different from the majority.
Americans show their pride in being American citizens through our patriotism, and celebrating those freedoms during the national patriotic holidays. Freedoms always come at a hard won price, and we need to remember to honor those who have died to give us those freedoms, as well as celebrate that we have these freedoms they have given to us.
We can show our patriotism through our country's colors, red, white, and blue, by waving the Stars and Stripes, and by attending memorials, and celebrations in honor of our country's patriots. Even the fact that we take days off such as the 4th of July Holiday is showing patriotism.