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Harold D. Speakman Post 356

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"The highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one's country " 

General George S. Patton Jr.

Memorial Day Essay for 2023

1st Place Winner:  Ava Nardi-Fitzgerald, 8th Grade, St. Margaret School, Narberth, PA

What does Patriotism mean to me"

     Patriotism is an abstract concept that has different meanings to different people. For me it means being proud of my country, its people, and its culture. It means having a deep appreciation for the values that our country was founded on and being willing to defend them if necessary. Patriotism also means showing respect for those who have served and sacrificed for our freedom.

     It is evident the Patriotism is an important value to many Americans. According to a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 64% of Americans believe that patriotism is very important. This sentiment is echoed by rnany of our nation's leaders, including former president Barack Obama, who once said, "We, too, born to freedom, and believing in the inherit of dignity of every human being, must be the authors of the next great chapter in our American story".

     Patriotism means honoring our country's history and traditions while also recognizing the need for progress and change. It means standing up for what Is right ad just, even when it is difficult or unpopular. It means celebrating our diversity and working to create a more inclusive society.

     Patriotism also means respecting the diversity of our country. The United States is a melting pot of different cultures, religions, and backgrounds, and we should celebrate that diversity. This means treating everyone with kindness and respect, regardless of their race, gender, or background. It also means embracing and learning from our differences, and working together to build a more inclusive and equitable society.

     Lastly patriotism means supporting our military and veterans. Our military personnel put their lives on the line to protect our country and our freedom, and they deserve our respect and gratitude. One way to show this is by visiting veterans' hospitals or sending care packages to troops overseas. By acknowledging their sacrifices and expressing our appreciation, we can help lift their spirits and show them that their service has not gone unnoticed. 

     In conclusion, patriotism is not just about symbols or slogans; it is about loving and serving our country. Honoring our country, supporting our military and veterans, and respecting the diversity of our country, we can all show our patriotism and help make the United States a better place for everyone. As the American writer and civil rights activist James Baldwin once said, "I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually."