What is patriotism? Patriotism consists of dedicated love and support, and protection of one’s country.
Think about this question: If we eliminate the emotional part of patriotism, what do we have?
I am one of those sensitive people that gets teary eyed when some band plays “The Star Spangled Banner.” I even became visibly moved in the church service last week when the congregation sang “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.” Is something wrong with me?
Some summers ago, I saw the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C. Charlie, Buffy and I had a chance to go to Washington, D.C. and the World War II Memorial was one of the sights high on our list to visit. My uncle Keith fought in World War II, and I wanted to look up his picture on the kiosk.
I was overwhelmed with emotion as I descended down the steps to the memorial. I saw evidence of those who had gone before me, and given their lives so that I might even write this column today.
I noticed elderly men on oxygen, some on walkers, and some in wheelchairs. I viewed some old gentlemen who were crippled and being helped by family members from station to station. I watched as families, children and great grandchildren gathered for family pictures with the old veterans. I observed elderly wives pushing wheelchairs with their brave soldiers now unable to walk the length of the memorial. I watched as grown sons held the hands of old fathers as they moved from each State column to the next. I saw older men and women as they stood before the waterfall, watching the water, contemplating on memories made in France, Italy, Germany and England and on battleships in the Pacific.
But today I get bewildered and just angry when politicians and government officials call this a country of cowards.
I am frustrated when the protestors disrespect the flag, and when crowds of hecklers yell at our returning service men and call them murderers. I get irritated when the ROTC program is taken out of a college. I fume when someone calls a former Navy Seal a criminal when that Navy Seal was defending that person’s very right to live free in this country.
This past week I was livid when I heard Bill Ayers, founder of the domestic terrorist group Weather Underground, tell a journalist that America commits genocide every day so his activities and bombings in America were justified, even though people were killed.
When we see the high price that was paid for our freedom, we should get emotional. If we fail to be emotional, that means our level of thankfulness, gratitude and appreciation for the lives of those who fought for us to keep means nothing to us. If this means nothing to us, then we will do nothing to defend our beloved country. If we do nothing to defend our country, then we will succumb to internal and external enemies that seek to eradicate our way of life and replace it with a godless socialist society.
Calvin Coolidge, one of our former presidents, said: “The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten.”
Let us be warned. The people in the Old Testament got so far away from their heritage and faith that they ignored God and all that they had once believed. The consequences: they lost everything.
The ending verse is Judges is telling. It reads. “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21: 25).
Now go back to the definition of patriotism. If I am patriotic I will dedicatedly love and support my country. Not only that, I will appreciate and revere those who serve and protect my country. And, I will get emotional about it.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: