• Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt Matthew R. Armstrong
  • 117th Equipment Maintenance Flight
With this being the month of November and Veteran's Day celebrated on the 11th, I was thinking about patriotism and what it really means. According to most dictionaries, patriotism means devotion to one's country, concern for its defense, and willingness to sacrifice for it.

There are many ways to demonstrate patriotism. One of the more obvious ways is waving the flag, but anything that celebrates your country or makes it stronger is a great display of patriotism. Whenever the country is at war, people are more vocal about their patriotism, playing patriotic songs and making speeches full of national pride. Patriotism is so important that some people will argue with each other about who has the most patriotism. American patriotism often expands to interests worldwide and the desire to see others live as we live, enjoying the same rights. Patriotism includes the show of affection, such as reaching out to embrace others in times of need. A true patriot is someone who is willing to show love toward people, even at times when no one is watching. These acts of kindness were especially seen on September 11, 2001.

You don't have to look back into history far to find some examples of patriotism.  Back in World War II when there was a metal shortage (needed to make weapons, machinery, ammunition, etc.) all Americans were asked to recycle all their metal. That same war millions of the American people joined the efforts of the Red Cross. Because the men were off fighting in the war, many women did the jobs that the men would have normally done. Below I have listed a few quotes from some Americans you may have heard of:

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."  -Winston Churchill

"It was my duty to shoot the enemy, and I don't regret it. My regrets are for the people I couldn't save: Marines, soldiers, buddies. I'm not naive, and I don't romanticize war. The worst moments of my life have come as a SEAL. But I can stand before God with a clear conscience about doing my job." -Chris Kyle

"America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand." -Harry S Truman

"Americans never quit." -Douglas MacArthur

"My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." -John F Kennedy

It is my opinion that the soldier is the ultimate example of patriotism. The US soldier is a volunteer who has given an oath to defend the constitution of our country and is sometimes asked to lay down his life to guarantee those rights. May God Bless the US soldier and the United States of America! As JFK so eloquently stated, "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."