A Palette of American Patriotism
Author Wade Poon
Although creating resolutions for the New Year is important, I believe that reflecting upon the great things we have done and continuing our great deeds are equally as important. To keep up the holiday vibes, here is an excerpt I wrote on what it means to be an American.
What does patriotism mean to you? This is a familiar question: certainly answered by many, defined by none. It doesn’t mean I can say the Pledge of Allegiance word for word or attend “exciting” jury duties. Instead, I like to think that American patriotism is built on a flag filled with the colors of all that is well in the big ol’ world: red for the bravery of American men and women risking so much, blue for the undying loyalty of citizen to country, and white for the goodness in every one of our hearts.
To me, patriotism means to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” My memory stands clear as day when I remember that unruly teen approaching a Muslim cashier with a shivering statement: “I’d like to order some food, but not from you.” A decorated American soldier behind him remarked, “I remind you that we live in America. He has the same rights as anyone else in this country. That’s why I wear this uniform proudly: to protect all Americans and what they stand for.” As the boy shamefully vacated the store, the soldier noticed my wide eyes, patted my head, and smiled. “Patriotism comes in many shapes and sizes, but it is my job and yours to set a good example for fellow Americans.”
We often think expressions of patriotism require blazing flags or veteran support. In many ways, we are right, but all forms, from physical to spiritual, come down to one single ideology: expressing your trust, love, and loyalty to your country by protecting what many have died for. It is your duty and mine to appreciate the American creators and fighters of the present and past. It is our responsibility to light up the darkness when the promising future of America lies in our hands.
To me, patriotism is staring out in the soft blue sky and sharing the different shapes of the wispy clouds overhead with my friends. They might ask me, “How could a country so diverse be so patriotic?” Without hesitation, I will reply, “Only in America.”
The views expressed in this article are the author’s alone and do not represent the views of the Charter School of Wilmington or the CSW Newspaper Club.