I feel proud to be an American. I have an overwhelming sense of honor and pride when I see an American flag waving or say the Pledge of Allegiance.
Why is this? Why do I have this connection to this country? I am sure for others that have similar feelings the reasons vary greatly. I believe that people are made up of their experiences – and are built like a jigsaw puzzle. All their experiences are like individual pieces. These experiences are partly what makes us who we are.
I have always looked at the United States as the greatest country in the world. A country with a built-in ingenuity in its people and a drive that even in failure – can overcome and succeed and come back stronger. America can take on all challenges and succeed. Just look at some of our history. The United States assisted in winning both World War I and II. Without the United States – this entire planet would look completely different – and not for the good. I suspect if it were not for this great country most of Europe would be speaking German and most of Asia would be speaking Japanese. Additionally, back in July of 1969 – more than 40 years ago this country landed men on the surface of the moon. What an incredible feat and accomplishment.
As I think back through my life of 41 years there are some vary specific memories that I have that I think led me to my feeling of Patriotism.
Here are a few:
- Saying the Pledge of Allegiance as a child. Standing in class facing the flag with a hand over my heart – it meant something. “I pledge allegiance to the flag of The United States of America….” For some kids maybe it was just something that they had to do – but I looked at it as important.
- My Dad. I remember hearing about his time in the military. I had a sense of awe about him that he volunteered to serve his country. I remember seeing pictures of him in other country’s – wearing his United States military uniform (he was in the Air Force and the Army).
- Ronald Reagan. Elected President in 1981 – I was 11 years old. He was President throughout my teenage years. I was taken with his swagger, his way with words. His presence commanded respect and he exuded confidence. You know what else? He talked often about this great country. It sank in deep. Even now – when I hear his words – I get chills. How we need someone like him today.
I remember the camaraderie and Patriotism that the vast majority of this country felt on September 12th, 2001. There were flags in every yard and people felt united. I miss that.
In these troubling times I see Patriotism and Pride in America loosing – while “I deserve” and “getting something for nothing” winning out. It is easy to get down on this country – when really it is not this country that we should be down on. The things that Reagan stood for still exist. Our Founding Fathers set something in motion that still continues today – just have to believe.
I love this country. I do believe in it – but that doesn’t stop me from worrying about it either.