The sky is clear and blue on this July Fourth. Soon the neighbors will be gathering for the small parade that is held each year at this time to commemorate the founding of our great nation in 1776. Children and adults alike will don their summertime red, white and blue outfits and march or ride their bikes down the road to where others have been busy preparing a pancake breakfast that will be served, free of charge, to any and all comers. It is a real feeling of community and the love of country. In fact, love or devotion to one’s country is how Webster’s dictionary defines Patriotism. But I think the claim of Patriotism demands more of us than just professing love of country and the showing of the colors. To me true patriotism involves participating in the process and insuring that all citizens are recognized for their individual value as well as what they bring to the whole. It is insuring that all people are allowed the freedom to worship as they feel compelled and not to be judged by the color of their skin, country of origin, or their sexual orientation. We are what we are as a nation because of each and every person who calls this great nation home.
I will end this with a quote that pretty much sums up my feelings of Patriotism. ” Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also owed to justice and to humanity. Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong.” -James Bryce