Patriotism in Action

Patriotism frequently invokes intense feelings. There are often demonstrations, writings, heated words, tears, laughter, gatherings, songs, violence, and symbols displayed, all in the name of patriotism. American flag

But what really is patriotism?

Why is it important?

What does it mean to be an American patriot?

Although very few of us could recite all our past Presidents, let alone say the names of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence or even list the key points to our Constitution, most of us would claim to be patriotic. We sing “America,” “The Star Spangled Banner,” and “God Bless America” over the Fourth of July (and sometimes even on Memorial Day) and of course we recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of ball games. Isn’t that patriotism?

That is part and parcel of patriotism, but it is so much more.

Patriotism is defined as the “the love of country” and stems from the Latin word “pater,” which means “father.” To have patriotism means to love our country (i.e., the people of this land) in a way similar to how we would love our father or our parents.

Love doesn’t just involve words though, it demands some form of action.

Love doesn’t just involve words though, it demands some form of action. Click To Tweet

When our country is in need, our love demands that we act. This action can be as “simple” as flying the U.S. flag; reciting the pledge; placing flags on veterans’ graves; voting in elections; or reading, listening, and discussing to be informed about current issues. Or action can demand the sacrifice of putting national interest before self.

The founders of this country made that sacrifice.

Many of the Declaration of Independence signers were wealthy men of status; men who could have continued on with their comfortable lives in the English colony of America just as it was. However, by signing their names to the Declaration, they not only placed their possessions on the line but also risked their lives as well as the lives of their families. With that one signature, they and their families’ lives became forfeit in the eyes of the British.

These great men of vision only briefly considered the risk if America lost this improbable conflict—being tried for treason by the mother country. In the end, although independence was won, most of the founders did end up losing great wealth, and sometimes wives and children, pursuing that dream.

Through their actions, the signers vividly demonstrated the meaning of patriotism: they not only had devotion to their country; they took action for their country.

Today, we frequently see such sacrifice in those who serve in the armed forces. They often place this nation before self. These heroic men and women place the defense of this country before their own security, comfort, and well-being.

The United States of America inspires patriotism not just because we live here and others have fought and died for its protection. Patriotism is inspired because of the ideals this country was founded on and the sacrifices that have been made to preserve those ideals.

We should be proud of our country; that we are a nation founded on principles of liberty and equality, and we should not be afraid to express that pride. Although America has at times fallen far short of these ideals, our record is still one of a country greatly blessed that has largely done great things.

One of the greatest tributes to America is that its spirit descends to every one of its citizens, no matter when they became Americans. “New” Americans are just as American as those whose families have been here for generations.

Former President Ronald Reagan said that he “always believed that this anointed land was set apart in an uncommon way, that a divine plan placed this great continent here between the oceans to be found by people from every corner of the earth who had a special love of faith and freedom.”

Faith and freedom is the glue that bonds together all citizens of this great nation as Americans. However, it takes a nation of patriots to keep our country true to its founding principles.

When Americans no longer remember or care that our forefathers gave up all they had to fight for such freedoms as religion and speech and the right to self-government and no longer appreciate what this country stands for is when American patriotism will be nonexistent, and our country as we know it will be no more.

Thomas Jefferson recognized that potential even in America’s infancy. “My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!”

This year do more than just dutifully sing patriotic songs, attend parades, or recite the Pledge of Allegiance when expected. Become informed and reflect on the sacrifices of American patriots throughout our history; share these stories with children and others around you; rekindle true patriotism in this country; be willing, if necessary, to sacrifice as our founders did; and most importantly, pray for God’s blessings and mercy so we remain the land of the free.

Pray for God’s blessings and mercy so we remain the land of the free. Click To Tweet

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

—Declaration of Independence of the United States of America

 “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Corinthians 3:17).

Share in the Discussion: How does your family celebrate Independence Day? Do you have stories to share of patriotism in action or God’s divine hand on our country?

Enjoy a blessed and safe Fourth of July!

By His grace ≈

Julie

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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

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