Patriotism is marked by an understanding of a nation’s history, accomplishments, and positive contributions to culture. Webster defines patriotism as love or devotion to one’s country.
We, the United States of America, understand what patriotism is. As individuals and as a nation, we need to show our patriotism for the United States in ways that matter. As it turns out there are several courses of action to show patriotism for our country in paths that truly make a difference.
Feelings of patriotism are based on the positive values we in the United States embrace– freedom, justice, and equality. We believe that both the system of our government and the people of our country are inherently good and work together for a better life for all Americans.
Few countries can survive and prosper without some degree of patriotic feelings among their citizens. A love of country and a shared pride bring people together. Think of how we feel when our US soccer team wins, or the Olympics is going on. Or more importantly, when our citizens work together to endure challenges.
Without patriotic beliefs, our colonial Americans may not have tipped over those tea barrels into the harbor. They may not have traveled that road to independence from England and King George. And patriotism brought the American people together to overcome the Great Depression and achieve victory in World War II. Patriotism is important to bring us together in difficult times and in times of celebration. A nation needs a level of shared pride to keep the citizens together through thick and thin, good and bad. We are Americans and we stay strong through it all.
Most Americans consider themselves to be patriotic but showing this patriotism in different ways. Average Americans love this country and don’t even think about standing up when it’s time to sing the national anthem or say the Pledge. But there is much more to patriotism than those two things and we know this. America has a proud history and we are going to look at the many ways to show patriotism and ways that every proud American can celebrate being proud of being an American.
7 Ways to Show Patriotism for our Great Nation
1. Vote to show Patriotism
Each person in this country who is a legal citizen and approaching the age of 18 should register to vote. You can even register to vote at Powered by Vote.org. Once a person turns 18, he or she is ready to vote once registered. Be a wise voter. Know who and what you are voting for. Study each issue and candidate. Do not miss an election. If you have to vote early, vote early or vote absentee, but vote.
Even though voting in this country is a legal right for every citizen, voter turnout is historically low. In 2014 only 36% of eligible voters voted. However, according to a Fox News poll, 93% of the respondents of that poll said that voting is a patriotic thing to do.
When you vote, take your children. Explain the voting process and let them know this is something to do as soon as they are able. It’s important and it’s a right and privilege all Americans should participate in the political process to keep our democracy a representative form of government.
2. Show Patriotism by Studying America’s Great History
Though America’s history is shorter in years than in older countries in Europe, Asia, or even South America, our country has a proud and brave history of freedom and exploration. People settled on the Northeastern shores of this great nation to worship freely and to be able to live without the oppression of a king. Our ancestors fought and died crossing from the East to the West during over more than 200 years of perseverance. The United States has a history worth learning about and passing down to our children.
If you go to a local library and visit the American history section, there are rows and rows of books about different phases of American history, our presidents, different leaders, and their influences, events, exploration, how we have helped to shape the world, every state, and so much more. Read a book a month about this great nation. Any fact you learn will only make you prouder of your history as an American!
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3. Show Patriotism and Pray for our Troops and Families of the Fallen
Pray for our troops in the field, and those who have served our country and are home with their families. Pray for those who have fallen in the line of duty or who have fallen after coming home.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is known for hiring thousands of veterans and encourages other companies to do so. These veterans serve their working environments with pride just like they have served our country. What they need are businesses to hire them and put in the time for training and then they will have the best employees they could ask for. Often after combat, veterans need some time to decompress. If employers are patient, then the veteran will prove to be a valuable asset in the workplace.
Some people never get over what they have seen or done during times of war. However, they served with honor and committed acts of valor just the same. Our troops protect and serve this country without thought or deed for themselves. They deserve our prayers and our care. This webpage has many resources to send cards and letters to soldiers and veterans: http://www.operationwearehere.com/IdeasforSoldiersCardsLetters.html
4. Engage in Civil Activism to Show Patriotism
A government of the people, by the people, and for the people needs all the citizens to be awake, “response-able” and willing to fight for justice and democracy. If you see something, do something.
Civil activism does not mean violence against a group or the government, but a healthy protest when justice is not being just. The Boston Tea Party comes to mind as being our first protest of justice. And while our first rebels crossed more lines than most of us are comfortable with, perhaps we are far too comfortable and that may be part of our problem.
5. Show Patriotism and Participate in Local Government
Often this is where we miss our best opportunities to show our patriotism. We let our local government slide when many times, this is the place where the decisions are made that impact our daily lives the most. Get involved in your city hall. Drop-in on the weekly meetings.
See how the process works. But most of all, know who your representatives are and vote in the local elections. These are the people who decide directly how YOUR tax dollars are spent daily. They also are going to decide mill levies and they will be appointing or dealing with people who assess your property values and how they will be deciding how much you pay every year on your property taxes. Local government is responsible for your streets, sidewalks, police and fire protection. So, there are benefits that are positive about your local government. Be in the know and be aware of decisions being made concerning your money and your well-being.
6. Show Patriotism and Check Multiple Sources for Information about Current Events
The most patriotic citizen is the person who is an informed patriot. Learn news about this great nation from multiple sources. If something doesn’t sound right, check several news sources. Read from different sources. Talk to different people. A dialog is an important factor for our democracy to exist.
Healthy debate is good. And that includes listening to the “other.” This is very hard to do, but we have to sometimes stretch ourselves to do so to learn. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams debated constantly and yet, it was their debates that helped to form this great nation and in the midst of it all, they became friends. And miles separated they even died on the same day, ironically on July 4, 1826, just hours apart.
7. Show Patriotism and Fly Your Flag
Last but not least, fly the American flag. Show your red, white, and blue! Flying our flag is a year-round event. This is not just for July 4th. Our flag stands for the United States of America and our great tradition of history. Make sure to keep a light on it if you leave it out at night. Show respect at all times to our flying colors.
Our flag is a symbol of so much more. When people are away from our country and they see the American flag, they see home. They see safety and freedom. Our soldiers fight behind it and for what it represents. Our beautiful flag… with liberty and justice for all.