What it means to be patriotic

Michael - Windsor, California
Entered on May 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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THIS I BELIEVE: What It Means to be Patriotic

I believe in honor and service for my country. I learned this lesson from my parents and family of the past. I was taught that honoring your country, the place that has given my family great jobs, a home, and an education is the way that people like my family are proud of themselves. I was taught that serving a cause greater than my own self interest, is the road to happiness and will allow me to feel good about myself. This is the country that gives you freedom, opportunity, and allows you to pursue your own course of happiness, and I believe that honoring this country is by serving in our armed forces, protecting the United States from those who wish to do harm to it.

When I was in the third grade in 2001, I saw on the news that a group of people who hijacked airplanes and had crashed them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I wanted to do something as thousands do today. When the U.S. invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, thousands of people, ordinary men and women signed up and shipped out. They were outraged about what the terrorists had done to their home. These people love this country and want to protect it from any threat. They risked their lives to protect this country because they honor this country as I and my family has done. Throughout my family’s history, I have had a family member in many wars America has gone into; from the swamps of the southern states during the Civil War to the pre-invasion of the 1st Gulf War, everything in between. That is faith to me. People of all ages and races, the people who love this country, put their lives on the line to honor and help this country before their own individual causes and swore before a flag to protect their home United States.

My determination to serve my country drives me to do what I can to serve it. This country is the land of the free because of the brave. It is land of the free because men like the ones who volunteered to die for their country and soldiers in Iraq today, live by the standards of honoring and respecting their country as my family and I do. I want to accomplish and perform what those soldiers perform, and accomplish my family of the past had accomplished when they served. I want to keep this country free from the evils of terrorism, dictatorship, and other world corruptions. It’s a path that I believe in taking, and it’s a path all Americans should take, helping the cause of protecting the innocent individuals of our country. That’s how I feel like honoring my country. This is my path to happiness and honor. I believe in honoring my country by serving in the military to protect it, and to be part of the brave, that love this country enough, to fight and keep it as the land of the free.