Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What is an American Patriot?


A patriot is one who loves his country and supports its authority and interests.  What makes an American patriot unique? He upholds the ideals that the Continental Congress outlined in The Declaration of Independence - right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness - not just in extraordinary circumstances, but in the mundane of daily life.  Throughout America’s history, her people have answered the call to patriotism.

The Declaration of Independence
 Thomas Jefferson
(U.S. Library of Congress)
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
After being taxed and dictated to for many years by the tyrannical English King, George III, the American colonists had enough. They believed that America could govern herself, and declared themselves free from the King in The Declaration of Independence.  With these words penned by Thomas Jefferson, and through events like the battles at Lexington and Concord and the grueling winters at Valley Forge, the American patriot was born.

The American patriot’s commitment has been tested multiple times over the last 200-plus years. The Union soldiers fought in the Civil War for the ideal that all men are created equal.  When the ideals of freedom were under siege by the Nazis and Axis forces, again the American patriot stood up to answer the call.  Americans in far-off places like Normandy and the Phillipines fought shoulder to shoulder with Allied forces in World War II, while those at home put their all into the war effort.  Sadly, the attack on American ideals did not cease with the surrender of the Japanese forces, and again the American patriot stood with his brothers in Korea and Vietnam.

The American patriot was tested once again on the morning of September 11, 2001. Everyday Americans, going about their day in the pursuit of the American Dream, were ambushed by Al-Queda. The cloudless cerulean blue New York City skyline became first hazy with smoke when two planes carrying them careened into the World Trade Center, and then black with ash and precipitating debris as they crumbled. Others were injured or killed outright in our Nation's capital and in a remote Pennsylvania field. In those moments, these innocent citizens became as heroic as our forefathers at Bunker Hill, Shiloh, and Omaha Beach, and the name "Todd Beamer" became as entrenched in our history books as John Adams. 

Historic or modern, an American patriot can be defined as a man or woman who defend the ideals that this country was founded on. The 56 men who signed this document became the first American patriots. The legacy continued throughout history during the Civil War and on to the modern era as soldiers battled to maintain these beliefs, while a new, civilian American patriot corps was born from the attacks on September 11, 2001.  We need not be great warriors to be patriots; we only need be great Americans.

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1 comment:

  1. It is still hard to believe that we were so violated. And your right a new kind of American Patriots were born. Thank you for sharing this post!
    Hope you can come and share your post on the Weekends Are Fun. Have a nice weekend!!