What is Patriotism to Me?

by Sarah Stone

Although it can seem absent in today’s society, patriotism for this country will never truly die. When this country first began in 1776, Americans were blessed with freedoms they did not experience in countries they had come from. As we have progressed, the list of freedoms have lengthened, but are simply taken for granted. Freedom of religion, speech, press, petition, and assembly are just the basic freedoms we were given. People, regardless of their gender, religion, race, or social status, have the opportunity to vote for our leaders, rather than reforming to a dictator. Patriotism is opening our eyes from the narrative that this country is horrible, and recognizing and appreciating the long list of freedoms and opportunities that we have.

Looking at what is going on, some may think this country’s flag is not worth standing for, but when you think of all the soldiers, men and women, who sacrificed themselves for this country, kneeling is ignorant. The flag not only represents the resilience and strength of our veterans, but displays the history of this country. It is our right to stand or kneel for the flag, but if it were not for what the flag stands for, we would not have that right in the first place.

The opportunities in this country are virtually limitless. Every child in America is offered free education, and once they turn eighteen, they can start a business, further their education, get a job, travel, marry, buy a house, vote, or anything else they put their mind to. There is a reason America is called “the land of opportunities.” People from countries around the world come here to start a new life, and being born here is a privilege.

Patriotism is taking pride in America. Caring for our land, flying our flag, and overall having a sense of gratitude towards all of the blessings that exist in this country and the citizens who live here. Our first responders are always ready to help, and our veterans have sacrificed so much for our safety. From missing weddings, graduations, births, getting severely hurt, and even dying during battle. Thankfulness towards our veterans and first responders is something we cannot take lightly. Although there are still issues needing resolving, patriotism unites us and keeps the best for the United States of America in mind.

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