Sunday, November 14, 2010

Patriotism

(This is the third in my This I Believe series.)

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Patriotism

I feel like I need to preface what I am about to write with the disclaimer that I love my country. I love it and have always been nothing but proud to be an American. Even when our country makes silly mistakes and screws up, I’d still rather be an American (I totally disagree with you, Johnny Depp). We all make mistakes. There is much to appreciate about being a citizen of this country.

So here comes the part that I have carefully choose my words. I don’t believe in Veteran’s Day as is. I don’t support blind hero worship of a job that someone chooses to do. I just don’t. In no way am I trying to devalue what our military personnel do for this country. I really appreciate those who are willing to take these risks for what they believe in. I find that admirable. And I don’t mind having a day devoted to the remembrance of all of our service men/women past & present. But, I do object to hero worship of persons who choose to take on this job. Where is Firefighter’s Day? Police Day?

My school has a teacher who is uber invested in the Veterans Day program that we hold at our school every year. Therefore, my school hosts an extensive Veterans Day program every year. It’s really uncomfortable for me to be around for the week, especially Veterans Day itself. Blind, unquestioning hero worship.

Do we need to post Facebook statuses to prove that we too appreciate those in the military?

Do we need to stop and shake someone’s hand if we see a person in fatigues?

Do we need to unthinkingly recite the Pledge every morning to prove our devotion to our country? Doesn’t this seem rather…wrong to anyone else? Militaristic?

I’m all for my country, but this just rubs me wrong. I believe that patriotism should not be forced. Love of country can be a really powerful emotion, but let’s leave it as a choice, eh?

It’s difficult to find the wording for a topic like this to convey what I really mean. Thanks for reading. Please don’t send me hate mail or stop talking to me. We can disagree and still be friends or at least in dialogue with each other.

1 comment:

Crystal said...

I agree with you. Thanks for being brave enough to say this.