Patriotism We All Should Have

Kayla - Palm Desert, California
Entered on May 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I have always been patriotic, from Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red White and Blue” blasting in my living room, to hanging American Flags outside my house and watching them blow gallantly in the wind. Patriotism is just something that comes naturally to me. When I hear people criticizing my countries values and principles it hurts with a sharp pain, but as soon as it moves to criticizing our troops, a fury fires up inside me that I am not able to stifle. These men and women are serving our country fighting in wars to keep the values and to help maintain the safety of the American people. I do not care if you are against the war, for the war, or you didn’t even know there was a war going on, you sure as heck better support the troops who are giving up their lives for you.

These men and women risk their lives everyday to keep you safe and your criticism of them doesn’t have a liberal or conservative label posted across it, it just says that you don’t understand their true meaning. The troops do not get to decide where they are deployed, what their next actions are, and how long they will be posted there. They are told what to do and when to do it and we as Americans should stand by that code of command of our armed forces and support their devotion to their main purpose: to preserve and keep America safe.

After 9/11 the United States was unified in such a way that I have never before seen in my 17 years of life and it was amazing. There was flag on every window of every car you passed and there was a, “Support our Troops” on so many bumpers I couldn’t keep track. Yet now, I feel that our nation has lost a bit of that unification and we have lost touch with the brutal fact that others are dying for our safety.

My best friend is going into the Air Force Academy and she has a certain courage and drive that I doubt I will ever have and I salute her for it. If you don’t have enough courage to be on the front lines serving shoulder to shoulder, you better have at least enough courage to stand up for our troops who are doing so and support them. Support is the key word that I feel each and every one of us should be doing despite our political beliefs. Therefore, I believe in the patriotism of a nation that will not be divided by hatred, but will be united by those willing to stand up for what they believe in.