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Announcements: DAV Column in the Charlotte Sun Newspaper


DAV Column in the Charlotte Sun Newspaper   


Holidays should not be the only days we show pride in our country

When I attended school as a child, patriotism was a prevalent subject, as was the case of my parents' generation as well as their parents' and the generations before them. It wasn't a class that one took, but a general subject that was always present. It seems it is not as important a subject to be taught as it used to be, but it certainly should be. Back then, patriotism was a subject at home as well.
What is patriotism? Webster's defines it as a love and defense of one's country. Does this mean a person needs to serve in the military to be a patriot? No, it does not!

A person can be a patriot in many different ways. Anything a person does that benefits his country is patriotic. Supporting the troops defending our country shows great patriotism. So does reciting "The Pledge of Allegiance," saluting the flag and singing "The Star Spangled Banner." Patriotism can be demonstrated in so many ways, but the most important form of patriotism is by supporting and defending the U.S. Constitution. Members of the armed forces take an oath to support and defend the Constitution as well as many other professions. Many of those who have taken this oath continue to live up to it even after their service has ended. For example, the bylaws of the Disabled American Veterans require all members to uphold and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States. Members are not coerced to join, nor is it required for anyone to receive the services the DAV has to offer. They join to support the DAV and the Constitution.

The events this past month, such as Veterans Day and Veterans Appreciation Week, have given us all time to reflect, yet fewer Americans participate in these events. I was shocked that children had school on Veterans Day. What message does this send to our future generations? Clearly we are not putting enough emphasis on patriotism. We need to spend more time teaching our children how to be proud Americans.

I think back to the famous words of President John F. Kennedy: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." Now more than ever those words ring true. We need to teach our children not to stick out their hands, but to lend a helping hand. That's what President Kennedy meant.

Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day should not be the only days we show pride in our country. Some people wouldn't even know what you meant if you mentioned Independence Day. They only know it as the 4th of July and an excuse to have a cookout. It's because we've lost sight of the reason we celebrate such holidays. Even so, these should not be the only days we show pride in our country. Furthermore, it should not be just the teacher's responsibility to teach patriotism, nor is it just the parents. Patriotism should be taught by us all. Parents, grandparents, aunt, uncles, public officials -- all those who live free in this great nation. It is our civic duty to ensure the prosperity of this nation, yet how can we do so if we are not teaching our children what it takes to keep our nation great? Patriotism, pride, courage, determination -- these are not just sacred words to be used on hallowed days, but should be actions that demonstrate how great a nation this is, not just to our children, but to all of those around us. How do we do this? It's simple. Leadership by example. We are a great nation, founded by great leaders. Let's ensure we continue to be a great nation and continue to lead others by example. Our children are our future. Let's show them leadership they can be proud of so that we can be proud of them in the future.


Created at 12/6/2007 2:29 PM  by FL 82 Webmaster 
Last modified at 7/11/2013 12:45 PM  by FL 82 Webmaster 

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