Happy 4th of July weekend everyone! A sure sign that summer is well underway, this holiday means different things to different people, whether it's a backyard barbecue or pool party with friends and family, a day of sun and sand at the beach, catching your favorite sports team on the boob tube while drinking a cold one, or 'oohing' and 'aahing' as you watch fireworks light up the night sky. But there's one thing that always has been and always will be associated with the 4th of July: Patriotism.
American history is full of examples of patriotism, many of which have led us to where we are today. If not for the courage of many men and women throughout our history, this country might not exist at all or might be something much different than what it is, and not necessarily in a good way. I could list many, many names here, but suffice to say we know who they are and truly appreciate them.
Nothing stokes the fires of patriotism like celebrating the birth of our country, except perhaps an epic battle of sports teams against a hated enemy. I will always remember watching the 1980 Olympic hockey team defeat the Russians on their way to the gold medal. Did that one game really change anything in the big picture? No, but back then you couldn't have told any American that. We were on top of the world and it felt good.
Politicians are also adept at stoking patriotism, usually to their own ends and for their own gain. It still amazes me that so many people, from all political parties and walks of life, fall for it. It seems like all a politician has to do nowadays is mention God or the 'good old US of A' that somehow has been hijacked by the enemy, and people are hooked and go nuts.
What are your thoughts about patriotism? What does it mean for someone to be patriotic? Do you know any real-life patriots?
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