Patriotism: How often do you wonder about patriotism. Just how patriotic are you? How much does your country mean to you. How much do we take for granted the freedoms we have come to expect and enjoy since our country came into being some 236 years ago. We are still a young country as far as countries go. I watched some of the recently concluded NCAA basketball championship. One of the things that bothered me is that as the National Anthem is played or sung, the lack of respect shown by some members of teams and the crowd in general. Very seldom does the crowd completely stop talking, put their hands over their hearts and reflect silently for a brief moment on our country. Without our servicemen and women protecting our country, there probably wouldn't be many basketball games played. A lot of the players leave their arms hanging to their sides during the National Anthem. This makes me angry. Stand up straight put your hand over your heart and be still and honor our country the way it should be honored.
I have seen this disrespect in many venues over the years, not just sporting events.
I attended a political convention one time and there the person sung all three verses of the National Anthem. By the time the singing concluded there wasn't a dry eye in the place. This song has such meaning. Rising above and prevailing against an adversary and establishing a country where freedom has flourished more so than any other country. We still have our problems, wrongs that go unrighted, cases of injustice, but we are still the best the world has to offer as far as I am concerned and I hope that everyone feels as strongly for their own country as Americans should feel about America.
I don't like politics very much, but they are very necessary. It's great for people to get out and campaign and I hope they do it with some dignity. I have never liked politicians that try to shovel dirt on the other guy just so they look better. Tell me why I should vote for you, don't tell me why I shouldn't like so and so. Who are you, what are your qualifications, what can you do for your country, what's your plan to make things better. Don't tell me what's wrong with him or her, tell me what's right about you.
Back to patriotism, I have been to Ferron Elementary a couple of times this year and they have been focusing on patriotism. They had a patriotic assembly. They say the pledge of allegiance each day. They are memorizing the National Anthem. It's so inspiring to see these tiny kids, sing the National Anthem. They are also learning to recite and sing other patriotic songs and important American quotes. They are learning about their country every day. I think this is a super idea. The focus they are putting on this is encouraging and very important.
Maybe those basketball players (and others) needed a little more training on being respectful. It's almost the parade season in our county and when our flags come down the street in a parade, get up off your back side and be respectful, put your hand over your heart, take your hat off, I don't care how cool you are, show some respect.
I guess, I can say these things because my dad was a veteran and my father-in-law, they both fought in World War II and my father-in-law helped liberate the concentration camps. Those people were so grateful for the help of these soldiers, they just cried when they arrived and their captivity was over. He didn't talk much about those war days, but every once in awhile you would get a story. Those experiences have helped shape our nation.
That reminds me of a quote from the Eagle scout dinner this year, Dennis Dooley said, "Not too long after the war in Afghanistan started the British troops supported us. There were quite a few troops over there from Great Britain at the time. Tony Blair, was the Prime Minister of Great Britain and for those of you who don't know anything about Parliament. You may expect it to be a very staid and quiet meeting. But they have this tradition called question time and it is not at all calm. As a matter of fact, it usually turns into a shouting match. They don't have desks in Parliament. They just have benches, and basically the opposition parties will shout questions to the Prime Minister, and he is expected to field these questions. In this case, the opposition was giving Tony Blair a real hard time about supporting America. It got into almost a shouting match. Mr. Blair stood up, looked at the opposition leader, directly across the room and said, 'I will remind the right honorable gentleman that there are only two people who offered to die for this freedom and asks nothing in return. One is Jesus Christ and the other is the American soldier. So we will support them.'"