I am a patriot.
Not in the traditional sense. I don’t live in one of the thirteen colonies controlled by Great Britain. I don’t pay egregious taxes on sugar or molasses or any of my varied paper supplies. And I don’t go raiding tea ships in the Boston Harbor on my day off. I’m not a tactical genius like General George Washington. Nor do I posses the powers of persuasion characteristic of Thomas Jefferson. By comparison, I’m relatively insignificant.
But I qualify.
I eat apple pie. I watch baseball. I measure distance in inches and feet and–if its REALLY far–miles. When I’m feeling super patriotic I raise the colors high and dabble at singing the Star-Spangled Banner. But all of this has little to do with Patriotism.
In its most plain and simple form, patriotism is the love of one’s own country and the support of its interests. As a young child I didn’t understand much about either of those things. All I knew was that each morning when I got to class we’d recite the Pledge of Allegiance, hand over heart, and that a few times a year we’d be excused from school for what they called a “federal holiday” (that’s enough to make any kid amiable toward their country). But, growing up I came to view America as a land “choice above all others”. America was a place where anything was possible. Anyone could come here and live a better life. With people flocking to the states from all over the world, how could it not be?
But America isn’t as pristine as it once was. Many of the ideals upon which this country was founded have been set at naught. The standards that once stood unquestioned are now in sharp decline. At this time when everything seems so far removed, there are few who will still stand for the things that are right. And that’s why I’m a patriot—-because I still believe in those things. I believe in a better America. And I’m more than willing to fight for it. With everything going on these days, it seems impossible, but then again, so did The Thirteen Colonies vs Great Britain.