Icons of America – A New Perspective Patriotism has got different dimensions. Every era, every turn of events defines the term patriotism for that particular generation. This is one term in history which has taken different forms and different perspectives, and hence icons of patriotism also take different dimensions and meanings…
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One icon was the person who pulled America out of the great depression and changed the world history after World War II. The second through his sheer courage and total belief in social equality and justice fought for unifying the society of America towards justice and equality. Franklin D Roosevelt was the only president of America who served the longest consecutive terms as President of the country. With his New Deal he pulled American economy out of depression and stabilised it. Initially he kept America out of the war by stating that no American soldier should be sacrificed for the war fought by European nations. This statement was not to let the war prevail in the world. He knew the capacity and power of his own country and certainly did not think America to be a weak nation. Going ahead after the attack on pearl harbour and US commercial ship he declared war on Japan and three days later on Germany. He led the allies very successfully through the war and turned the war around successfully. He died when the victory of the war was near. What makes FDR great? His speeches which brought the nation together at war time? His decisions which showed great vision of future? Or his stand on shaping the foreign policy of the nation which dominated the world politics for decades even after his death? What makes him iconic is the sheer definition of patriotism in the era. The times demanded Americans to come together and fight, be it the economic crisis or fighting the enemy who had destroyed their finest base and challenged their might. FDR was responsible in tying the nation together. He became the symbol of the unity of the nation. People believed in him and he stood by their trust and faith. The times demanded that he stood firm and face the challenge only to come out of it successfully. He accepted the challenge and proved that he can deliver. He stood the tests of time and acquired the iconic status he deserved on his sheer merit and capabilities. In the years to follow World War II, American society changed dramatically. The country played a very dominant role in the world politics and international relations. It was always known as the lane of opportunities but now the gates opened for more people to come in and settle down and help the country prosper more and more. America came to be known as cultural melting pot of the world indicating that people of all the races, colours, nationalities can stay together, work together and coexists in harmony, can rise to heights of career on merit and hard work. If this situation is considered then patriotism takes a different meaning. It now means a society which is open, social and welcoming. That definitely doesn’t mean losing identity, but it means more shades of various colours are now welcome to make the painting more beautiful. It also means that only we Americans provide the opportunity you deserve and are capable of giving you a better life. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his life to teach these values of humanity to American society and the world. He was a parishioner who worked tirelessly towards equality for African-American people in the society. He founded SCLC, led Montgomery Bus Boycott and various other movements for the social justice and equality. It is because of his ceaseless efforts, social justice an
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