American Legion – “What Patriotism Means to Me Essay Contest”
(Sharing a few each week)
What Does Patriotism Mean to Me? By Nick Skerbeck, 8th Grade
“Patriotism is not short frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” – Adlai Stevenson II.
What do you imagine when you hear the word Patriotism? I imagine hundreds of people standing together, waving flags and setting off fireworks. We show our Patriotism for this country even when we say “I Pledge Allegiance”, use our Freedom of Speech, or Practice our Religion. We do all these patriotic things every day, but for what? Why do we show our patriotism? I believe we show our patriotism to give thanks, thanks for all of the blessings we have received in our life for choosing to live in the country that we live in. This is what Patriotism is to me.
Patriotism does not require setting the world on fire. The simplest act of Patriotism is choosing to live in the United States, and actively expressing the freedoms that we are given here. I express my freedoms every day by receiving a Catholic Education. I have been going to Corpus Christi Catholic School for the past four years. In most countries, I would not be able to receive religious education, but here I can. I can actively and freely express my religion wherever and whenever I want in this country, and that is quite a special thing.
Another reason the United States is a special place is that it is a safe space for everyone. In the United States, we are not persecuted for our religion, culture, gender, or skin color. When you take away all that prejudice, all that is left is love. The love that we have for each other, and the sense of community that we have is so powerful that It has convinced people to risk their lives just so we can keep it. These people, our Veterans, deserve our thanks. They deserve it for risking their lives and actively expressing their Patriotism by fighting for us.
To me, Patriotism is learning about our country and can help create more educated voters, actively expressing our freedoms can help fight against prejudice and other social shortcomings, and even acknowledge the work that our veterans have done. What do these things all have in common? Well, they all show our love, our solidarity, and our thanks for our Country. By doing all these things, we are creating a land that will continue to prosper for centuries to come, and we are creating a better world for future generations. That is what Patriotism is to me.
What Patriotism Means to Me By Kayla Shepard, 8th Grade
“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”John F Kennedy
Patriotism means many things to me. One of the most important is helping my country. I can help in many different ways for example by being environment-friendly, saying the Pledge of Allegiance, or even something as simple as making sure to thank veterans for their service. A lot of people think that serving our country in the armed forces is the only way to show patriotism. Yes, serving is one of the ways but never the only way. Many people depend on the armed forces to protect our country. While that is genuine everyone else can be helping America in other ways.
Patriotism is something you are born with. Something that should be shown in any way possible. Learning about your country can be the greatest thing you can do as an American. America has a lot of old tales to tell. Many people have fought to keep this country a safe and welcoming place. I have many people in my family who have protected our country. Many families like my own have a legacy of veterans or family members currently in the armed forces. Families like those have many battles they have fought both physically and mentally it is our job to make sure everyone knows what it took to be this free. I am so glad I get to come to school and not only pray and be able to share my religion but also say the Pledge of Allegiance.
Patriotism to me is more than just serving this country but working for it. Keeping justice alive and not breaking laws. More than just politics and problems. Patriotism is doing what is best for your country. Sometimes it may seem as if there is nothing you can do but in reality there are many things. Sometimes there are community issues you can help resolve or sometimes just add your opinion on an issue. Lots of people are afraid to speak up or expect someone else will do it for them. That is not always the case. My mom always told me “if you want something done you have to do it yourself.” I agree with her. Sometimes being patriotic is taking a leap of faith but not knowing what will happen next. America has a history I and many other Americans would now want to live in again. Helping this country is patriotism.
“America is another name for opportunity” Ralph Waldo Emerson
What Patriotism Means to Me By Sachiel Fickel, 8th Grade
Every country has its opportunities, as well as its shortcomings. When being patriotic to one’s country, you see past these faults and take advantage of the many opportunities that your country offers. The Bald Eagle, the American Flag, and the Liberty Bell. These are all symbols of our nation that we respect. Why? We appreciate these symbols because these symbols all represent one word; Freedom. In my opinion, patriotism is taking advantage of the freedoms that America secures and using those freedoms to erasure happiness and be the best you can be.
The United States of America was founded on the principles of freedom, the pursuit of happiness, and individual responsibility. This offers endless opportunities for personal growth and success. From birth, you are given the opportunities of education, free speech, and many more. As you grow older, you can choose your career path. The choices you make, however all come with consequences. Showing Patriotism would be to take the right path in order to prosper in this Land of Opportunity.
Your responsibilities as a citizen of the United States mainly include following the law and serving our country. A straightforward way to serve your country is to vote. Voting shows you are consciously choosing someone who you believe will make our Country better. However, when voting, you must make sure you are doing so in an educated manner.
That leads me to the last meaning of patriotism, staying educated. It is important to be informed when living in a constantly changing world. Patriotism is staying informed about political, social, and environmental changes in your country. Only then can you help your nation become better through voting, as well as helping others and the land on which we thrive.
Most U.S. citizens would agree if I said that the United States of America is the greatest country in the world. The freedoms that you receive here open doors to endless opportunities to raise to your fullest potential. Anyone who lives in a country as great as our own should be able to look past its shortcomings and realize just how much of a blessing it is to live here, and the simplest way to be patriotic to our country is to grasp the opportunities that it secures for you and reach your greatest potential.