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Subtle Expressions of Patriotism - Essay Example

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Mark Twain once defined patriotism as "supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it" (qtd. in ThinkExist). If you would ask a hundred other people you would probably get a hundred different answers. While we often see patriotism as the flag waving parades and displays on the Fourth of July, these are merely the displaying of the symbols that represent our country…
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Subtle Expressions of Patriotism
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Download file to see previous pages It is not the cultures of the Irish, Hispanics, and Germans that dot this continent. America is a set of principles, values, and ideals that have remained unchanged for over two centuries. Giving our continual vigilance and support to these abstract concepts is what patriotism is. A colorful hat or a flag on the lawn does little to strengthen our nation or bind us together as a people. Living the principles and ideals of our founding fathers is a subtle, yet powerful, way to not only show our patriotism, but to put it to work to strengthen our nation.
Practicing the founding principle of equality binds us together in a nationalistic environment that creates the strength of numbers with the peace of individualism. We practice equality in our day-to-day lives by acting on the immortal words "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights" (Declaration of Independence). We live up to this ideal by treating our fellow citizens with dignity and respect. This calls us to do more than simply profess to be fair and equal in our treatment of minorities, religions, and opposing political opinions. It means that we must also accept them as legitimate and equal in terms of allowing them to exist, flourish, and grow. The practice of equality is a subtle expression of patriotism that is built upon the foundation of our nation's beliefs.
Equality helps our nation assure that we are allowed to remain free and have the liberty that our independence granted us. Founding father Thomas Jefferson warned us that, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance" (qtd. in Quotation Page). Our subtle patriotism is shown by our continued watch over our government, its excesses, and its direction in forming our domestic and foreign policies. As with equality, this expression of patriotism also requires action on the part of the citizenry. It requires us to stay informed of the issues that affect America. It demands that we participate in government when possible and whenever necessary. This may mean taking the simple action to vote, or may require running for public office. In addition, as Mark Twain said, we need to support our government when it deserves it. Freedom is a right that must be lived and watched over to assure it remains a part of our American tradition.
As a nation that is built on equality and liberty, we have a patriotic obligation to support our country when we can, and criticize it when we can't. While we see our brave soldiers as true patriots, some patriots may be subtler in their approach. Visiting a veteran's hospital to thank the courageous men and women that have placed their life in harms way for our freedom is a quiet, yet forceful, show of patriotism. In addition, we must be willing to criticize our government when our conscience tells us that the government is taking action that is not in the best interest of the people. Civil disobedience can be as patriotic as enlisting in the armed forces. In both cases we are defending the principles and values that make this nation America.
In conclusion, patriotism is an action that must be lived and incorporated into our daily lives. It isn't displayed by our once a year display of flags and fireworks. Patriotism is an ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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