The true mean­ing of pa­tri­o­tism

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor -

Pa­tri­o­tism is an undy­ing love for one's coun­try, a love so strong that one would will­ingly sac­ri­fice all to de­fend and keep it. It's what made our coun­try a free and in­de­pen­dent na­tion. Pa­tri­o­tism cap­ti­vated the hearts of our fore­fa­thers, giv­ing them the courage to stand up for lib­erty and in­de­pen­dence from Bri­tain. It com­pelled many men and boys to en­list in World Wars I and II to de­fend their coun­try.

Pa­tri­o­tism has made Amer­ica the great and pros­per­ous na­tion that it is to­day, while an an­tiAmer­i­can sen­ti­ment has only served to tear it down.

The feel­ing of in­dif­fer­ence to our coun­try that is taught in Amer­i­can pub­lic schools is out­ra­geous. It is taught that open dis­plays of Amer­i­can pa­tri­o­tism are of­fen­sive to our in­ter­na­tional com­mu­ni­ties. This is ridicu­lously in­ac­cu­rate. True im­mi­grants to Amer­ica are proud and ea­ger to pur­sue their dreams here. Though they may re­tain some of their na­tive coun­try’s cul­ture, they be­come Amer­i­cans — in both heart and ac­tions. Sadly enough, many true im­mi­grants are more pa­tri­otic than many na­tive­born peo­ple. Why? Im­mi­grants come to Amer­ica to es­cape poverty and im­posed gov­ern­ment rule, and they view Amer­ica as the place where their dreams of suc­cess and free­dom will come true. Com­ing from such a sit­u­a­tion, th­ese peo­ple un­der­stand and ap­pre­ci­ate the blessed free- dom ob­tained in Amer­ica, per­haps to a greater depth than many other Amer­i­cans.

Many Amer­i­cans lack their fore­fa­thers' pa­tri­o­tism be­cause they take their free­dom for granted. They don't know how it felt to win the Amer­i­can War for In­de­pen­dence, or to de­feat the Axis pow­ers. The pub­lic school sys­tem's in­doc­tri­na­tion in the mat­ter has only made the sit­u­a­tion worse. The newer gen­er­a­tions don't ap­pre­ci­ate the sac­ri­fices their fore­fa­thers made and don't un­der­stand pa­tri­o­tism's mean­ing. They are taught that pa­tri­o­tism is of­fen­sive to im­mi­grants; yet it's just the op­po­site. It's the other im­mi­grants to the United States — those who are loyal to their own coun­tries and who view Amer­ica as an evil place that they must en­dure un­til they get rich and can get out — that we are mis­tak­enly try­ing to please.

I be­lieve it's wrong for us to cater to dis­loyal res­i­dents in our coun­try who refuse to call them­selves Amer­i­cans. Why should we re­strict our­selves, cut off the very fiber that has made us a won­der­ful, free na­tion, to avoid of­fend­ing peo­ple who could care less about our ideals? In at­tempt­ing to please such peo­ple, we are ne­glect­ing in train­ing our fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to be pa­tri­otic cit­i­zens like their an­ces­tors. An­gelique Max­son Auburn, Wash­ing­ton

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