Patriotism and Heroes

IMG_1638On President’s Day, February 18, 2019, I was blessed and honored to speak to the group: Hill Country Retired School Employees. My speech’s title was “A Case for Patriots, Patriotism and Heroes”. Here are some of my thoughts, ideas and beliefs about America and our patriots.

President’s Day is celebrated the third Monday of February each year. Prior to 1968, The Holiday was simple and known as Washington’s Birthday celebrated on February 22nd.  Lincoln’s Birthday is also in February on the 12th of the month. In 1968, Congress passed the Monday Holidays Act which moved the official observance of Washington’s Birthday from February 22nd to the third Monday in February. Some reformers had wanted to change the name of the Holiday as well to President’s Day in honor of the birthdays of both Washington and Lincoln.  The proposal was rejected and failed to pass Congress in 1968. The holiday remained an official holiday for Washington’s Birthday.  In 1971, President Nixon proclaimed the holiday as President’s Day to commemorate all past presidents not just Lincoln and Washington.

Patriotism is national pride and the love and respect of country.  It is to take pride in one’s origin and work for the prosperity of the country.  As a patriot, it is important to show patriotism in our actions and be proud of the United States. To be a patriot means to zealously love and support the United States and its interests. A patriot is loyal to the USA, its people, its political system and works for the country’s development. Being a patriot does not mean you have to agree with everything from the individuals who are in power.  It is a loyalty towards our country and its political system and not towards any specific political leader or party.

Patriotism’s definition in the dictionary cannot be properly defined.  No two people will have the same explanation of what patriotism means to them.  It is difficult to measure; it is shown by unselfish acts in which a person serves their country and their people. From the Founding Fathers to those serving today at home and abroad, their hearts and spirits are filled with the will to protect our freedom. Pride and patriotism go hand in hand. Pride is good for our self-esteem and so is patriotism. Pride improves our self-perception.

One of the most important symbols of our country is the American flag.  We are proud of our country and the flag expresses that feeling of pride.
“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.  This statement was made by Neil Armstrong as he placed the American flag on the moon.  This act unified our Nation with a patriotic spirit held deep inside us all. Neil Armstrong’s love for all people, and the recognition of the efforts of all employees at NASA, and the support of all Americans, in that ONE sentence was an act of patriotism. Neil Armstrong was a great patriot.

Patriotism is the love of our country. Some patriotic people have strong nostalgic feelings, their beliefs and cultural values are important to them. There are many ways to show patriotism like: joining the military, running for political office or just saying the pledge of allegiance every morning.

In my opinion, no one exemplifies the true meaning of Patriotism more than our former Presidents. One of the most admired founding fathers was George Washington.  He was the first President of the United States and the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. The General led a spunky group of young American rebels to one of the greatest military upsets of all times. They won the fight for our freedom and independence. The General was the first President to preside over our great country.  Another great leader and former President was Dwight D. Eisenhower; the 34th President of the United Stated from 1953 until 1961. Eisenhower was a general in the United States Army during World War II and served as the Commander-in-Chief of the allied forces. These two outstanding Presidents demonstrated patriotism by serving as role models and leaders who were willing to fight for and die for their country. The love of America is in the hearts of the many men and women who are currently serving in the armed forces.

From the early colonists fighting the tyranny of English rule, the battle heroics of Audie Murphy, and to fallen veterans today in Iraq and Afghanistan, they were and still are driven by a common bond of love of country and protection of our freedoms.