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Patriotism to me is reading and writing U.S. history that includes Black and women’s history in a state hostile to it.

Patriotism to me is fighting the greatest domestic terrorist threat tracked by DHS, DOJ and the FBI: white supremacy.

Patriotism to me is is supporting my fellow citizens who are Black, women, LGBTQ, etc.

Patriotism to me is recognizing that this country was built on the backs of enslaved Black people and the free domestic and low paid labor of women and people of color.

Patriotism to me is about progress forward, not regression or the decimation of hard-fought civil rights.

Patriotism to me is a career spent building access and opportunity for diverse students at two nationally ranked public research universities over 23 years.

Governor DeSatan can’t erase my track record and that of so many others, though he is trying.

Patriotism to me is in the Jim Crow era civil rights career of my grandparents, the power couple.

Thank you, Steven, for the opportunity to say publicly what patriotism means to me on this Memorial Day weekend.....

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May 27, 2023Liked by Steven Beschloss

It seems to me that the MAGA bunch has co-opted the American flag. I saw a runner the other day carrying a large American flag along the parkway. I immediately assumed he was a Trumpist. That's when I realized that they had coopted the American flag, as though they are patriots, which they are quite the opposite.

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Well, it doesn’t mean waving the flag, or wearing the flag, or worshiping the flag or saying the pledge of allegiance or even saluting the flag. I despise symbols and symbolism when being shoved down my throat. I appreciate all of those things in my own way. I gladly (but nervously), sent my 2 son’s off to serve in the Army and the Marine Corps for our last war in Iraq. I am proud of them. Sad that my son is a disabled Marine now. I am a patriot. I just hate Nationalism and flag waving chest thumping uber patriots who tell you that if you don’t wave the flag a fervently as they, you are not a patriot.

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May 27, 2023Liked by Steven Beschloss

Patriotism is the practice of good citizenship. And good citizenship is learning the history of one’s country and applying that knowledge to and for the betterment of all its people. It is not a flag or a symbol, but the daily practice of ethics and responsibility in our daily lives.

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May 27, 2023Liked by Steven Beschloss

Thank you, Steven, for this article. I think that Theodore Roosevelt had it right. I also think of Bono's saying that America isn't just a country but also an ideal and that it is up to us to live up to that ideal. For me, patriotism is honoring the best in your country, while striving to improve flaws and rectify wrongs.

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May 27, 2023Liked by Steven Beschloss

The Republicans who hijacked our democracy and tried to overthrow our government under the guise of patriotism has left a bad taste in my mouth. I won't even display an American flag on my home anymore. I don't want to be mistaken for a republican. It's sad, really. My father fought against fascism during WWII. Now, Republicans openly advocate for it.

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May 27, 2023Liked by Steven Beschloss

Patriotism: support and devotion to our country and the ideals promoted by the Founding Fathers, while recognizing that some of our history is less than admirable. Recognizing that the Constitution was intended to be a living document, not frozen in the environment of the late 18th century, and that patriotism requires that we grow and mature as a multi-cultural, diverse society seeking to respect our fellow citizens even if not sharing the same beliefs.

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"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." - Samuel Johnson

Patriotism mandates no specific set of behaviors, no specific beliefs, nor any specific responsibilities. I can be patriotic and support my government, or not. I can be patriotic and advocate for war, or not. I can be patriotic and cast my vote, or withhold it in protest. I can be patriotic and support gun rights, or demand reasonable protections. Patriotism is utterly manipulative. Give me an example where patriotism is invoked where it not intended to manipulate through either shame or fear.

Citizenship however implies a specific set of civic moral choices; rights and responsibilities mutually shared. Among these are the are right and duty to vote, the obligation to pay taxes, to serve on juries, to follow the law, to stay informed and participate in your community, to defend the nation in time of need. In exchange for these responsibilities we share, as citizens, the right of free speech, of assembly, to a fair trial, to worship freely, to be treated fairly under the law, to participate in the political process.

Fewer Patriots!

More Citizens!

Vote!

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May 27, 2023Liked by Steven Beschloss

Being respectful of others, even those you disagree with.

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Patriotism is working to make America a place where all its residents are treated as equals. Where voting is safe and easy. Where housing, food security, decent water, healthcare and education are human rights.

Patriotism is holding our leaders in the public and private spheres accountable. Expecting them to have the highest moral standards. Expecting them to be inclusive, honest and promoters of the common good.

Patriotism is being partners with other nations - not colonizers and dominators.

Patriotism is supporting everyone's right to worship (or not) in any manner that they wish. A patriot respects a firm line between religion and government.

Patriotism does not tell a woman when or if she must have and raise children.

Patriotism supports members of the military with health care, education and job assistance after they serve.

Patriotism expects ALL to respect the rule of law and the results of our election process.

Patriotism teaches us to learn and remember from the mistakes of history - not bury them.

Patriotism recognizes that we all are the products of immigration.

Patriotism is not a flag. It is a commitment to equality and fairness for every American regardless of gender or gender preferences, race, religion, or place of origin.

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To me , patriotism is remembering and supporting the ideals of this country. Ideals that still bring people here, such as sanctuary, compassion, opportunity, safety and above all, freedom to live one’s life with dignity. Certainly not the fascism the maga contingent now claims as patriotism, which is fundamentally hateful and oppressive.

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To me, patriotism means honoring the declared aspirations (not the 18th century reality) of our country’s founding. Rejection not only of monarchy, but also all other forms of authoritarianism. Equal human rights. Civic commitment and participation. Community outreach to the disadvantaged.

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I believe that the only way to strengthen democracy is to vividly show the the ills and if need be the horrors awaiting us if we allow the MAGA cult to turn our country into a semi-Fascist or a complete Fascist state.

What helped to make me proud of our democracy was knowing how eager and bright students from autocratic countries sought their undergraduate, postgraduate and careers in America. Watching our young athletes march at the Olympic Games opening, singing the national anthem at ballgames, receiving my social security checks and seeing our country send aid to another democratic government under siege also wrote “democracy” in my mind.

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On Memorial Day, I think of my father, who enlisted in the army at age 19, and was promptly shipped off to the South Pacific during World War II. I recall him saying that there was no way in the world he would have missed it. For him, it was a way to “get off the farm,” which was a thing back then. (Robert Caro writes about getting off the farm in volume one of his series on LBJ.)

Patriotism? Think of persons of color who have strong feelings for the US, which in return, has never had particularly strong feelings back. Let us try to come together and regain some of the true patriotism that has been lost somewhere along the way where we are united in the cause of strengthening and advancing democracy for everyone.

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Having served in the US Air Force for four years, most of which I detested, I nevertheless take pride in the fact that I did serve my country -- and went on to work, as a civilian for the Defense Department in a number of positions. As a Jew, I grew up with great respect for the concept of justice for ALL, and while I will not try to change the minds of people, I will take every opportunity to point out the great accomplishments of "liberals," and although democracy is messy, it is the best system to ensure that there is value attached to equity, justice, and shared responsibilities.

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Patriotism to me is being a fully informed and rational voter. It is taking the time to understand how our representative Democracy/Constitutional Republic works and the dangers that threaten it and it’s ability to effectively govern our country. It is to take action in word and deed to protect what so many have died and sacrificed for. Our freedom. “Life, Liberty, and pursuit of Justice.”

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For me it means loving the ideals of this country and respecting its true history--good and bad--and not hiding any part of it.

It surely doesn’t mean blindly worshipping an Orange con artist.

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I was born American but lived in many different countries as I was growing up. I spent more time outside of the US than inside it. The other countries were my home, and I loved them. When I returned to live in the US as an adult, I did not automatically feel patriotic or even a sense of belonging. These were understandings and feelings that I had to work at and learn. For me being patriotic means loving the magnificent land itself, first, and also being devoted to the constitution and the rule of law. It means believing in the country, even when there are events and histories that I feel ashamed about. Having citizenship is a privilege, and it’s our job to try to make things work and make things better. I will never be the kind of patriot who says this is the best country in the world etc, because I love many places. I have met many refugees and also know people who have no ID, are stateless. Being an American citizen was just given to me at birth, and it is up to me to earn it. Our country provides more for me (for all of us) than I can even know. I guess I’m not a typical patriot but always a patriot in progress.

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Treating your fellow citizens with respect, believing yourself to have no greater -- or lesser -- rights than they, and being especially mindful of the way skin color of ethnicity has undoubtedly subjected them to unwarranted abuse.

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The Insurrectionists don't get the rights to my flag.

I remember my mother showing me why I wasn't going to a friend's birthday party: the sign at the country club's entrance said No Colored No Jews No Dogs. No way would she allow me to be in such a place "It's UnAmerican"

That's patriotism: standing up for the ideals.

I love America, with all her flaws. Our flag is the best way for me to show that. So, my car's sun shield has a big American flag sticker near the Never Again hanger decal and the Make Trump Lose Again sticker and many more of their ilk. On Monday, I'll fly my flag with reverence for those who died, in ways I never considered for myself, so that we can continue to have these conversations without worrying about going to the gulag.

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I spent 20 years in the USAF as a commissioned officer. To me the oath I took along with many others is a compact between those who take the oath, the constitution, and God. And it's pretty simple. Support the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic and bear true faith and allegiance to the same. People take this obligation without mental reservation or purpose of evasion. And you pledge to well and faithfully discharge the duties you are assigned. And, of course, you pledge this in the last phrase. It really is inappropriate to just drop out if you are having a bad day. Today it appears that there are some folks: some politicians, the Supreme Court, unfortunately, some ex-military, others who perhaps have not taken the oath and see it as a meaningless set of words with no particular value or meaning. They have decided to walk a dangerous path, one of ignorance of both history and morality, with no care or perhaps ignorance of the value of a democratic state, of morals, and of the value of their fellow man (and, unfortunately, of women who really bear the brunt of those who have decided to ignore values that have been part of this country since its inception.) Perhaps those who would like to abandon the constitution should take a little remedial training in, let's see, perhaps sixth or seventh grade civics. It's not rocket science.

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I actually see the people screaming the loudest about being "patriots" as traitors these days. They hate most Americans. They hate diversity and immigrants in the land of diversity and immigration. They WANT America to fail, for the economy to crash and burn, when it's not "their" team in power. They increasingly hate democracy. They increasingly hate ACTUAL freedom, and to them freedom means the right to scare the hell out of their fellow Americans by going shopping with an assault rifle. They seem to actively hate America. They actually WANT us to be like Russia or Hungary which are led by corrupt, despotic dictators who are murdering journalists and minority groups within their own countries. To me, being a patriot means you WANT your country to do well. You WANT your fellow Americans to live good, happy, safe, abundant lives. You don't want them starving to death or dying on the street because they can't get healthcare of even shelter from the elements. You WANT to help the others of your country because a rising tide lifts all boats. This bitter, racist, angry form of "patriotism" is the exact opposite of what they pretend it is. As far as I can tell, they hate our country. They'll happily suffer as long as their fellow Americans suffer too (or preferably more). I don't understand that. I really don't. I saw that poll that said that most Republicans primarily want in a candidate someone who will hate who they want them to hate, and "make libs cry" and I seriously think they all need psychiatric help. I don't wish that upon them. At the same time, I want to make sure they never get in power because I think they're deeply dangerous and have a lot of hate in their hearts.

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Gazing at the flag in front of my "assisted" living dump, I was reflecting just yesterday on how the meaning of patriotism has changed over my 70 years.

I joined the Army out of HS in '71. In those days, we military brats planned our lives around our military service we knew was coming.

We were schooled in the whitewashed history of our white hats in all disagreements, that was taught in the 60s. It was later after researching history for various questions that I learned our white hats had a lot of dirt on them.

Was anyone the same after reading "Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee"? Before that, my image of a native American was Tonto-like.

Since then I learned of Gen. Smedley Butler who told America what our military was really doing in the early part of the last century. Protecting rich companies in Central America & other places.

He also blew the whistle on the Banker's Coup of 1933 to replace FDR with a Fascist dictator.

Then Nixon & Reagan both threw out 2 centuries of keeping religion at arm's length from politics, though in the south it never was separate.

We were screwed, blued, & tattooed by mixing the 2.

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I worry a lot about the theme of “patriotism” since it divides us from the world more generally. I like to believe that I am a citizen of the world, and that my responsibility is greater than adherence to one set of laws or norms. But I am also enormously grateful that I was born in the US and profited so much from a (relatively) free society where I am allowed to criticize what is wrong and admire what is right. In a way, I believe nation states have been an anachronism for as long as multinational corporations have begun to rule so much of the world. When they concern is the health of the planet and the people who inhabit the earth, much more needs to be done to expand our vision of “patriotism”.

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May 27, 2023·edited May 27, 2023

Understand how all levels of government work. Follow issues that concern your community. Hold elected officials accountable to high standards, criticizing them when they fall short no matter the party. Welcome and expect all citizens to participate.

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Patriotism to me is being a well informed American, reading from the most trusted news sources in the world, not just America.

Patriotism means supporting all - all means all - fellow citizens and veterans and supporting their rights to live, work, play, make their own health and love decisions.

Patriotism to me is trying my best to help others learn what is real information about America a world matters. Patriotism is to be proud to be an American, despite the troubles we are experiencing in our nation.

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To me it is support of the first amendment - Freedom of speech, separation of church and state. Full throated democracy. All people are created equal. Not just those born in this great country, but a desire to spread our American values across the artificial borders on maps. Also to recognize and apologize for the wrongs we’ve done in the name of our country and to not repeat them.

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Living and carrying out the ideals under which our republic was founded. Not those that have been corrupted by grifters.

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Patriotism is not a catchphrase, a song, a merit badge, an office you can seek, or a club one can join. It's one of the few things NOT for sale at WalMart. It is neither a whimsical statement (e.g., a flag hanging in the back of a pickup truck) nor political device.

Rather, patriotism is a demonstrated measure of kindred spirit, arising from strong sense of attachment and duty to one's homeland. As with bravery, one's pronouncements and self-nomination mean nothing. It's about demonstrated action to consistently and at times, inconveniently place country ahead of self across the arc of time, in full view of one's peers, often at considerable price. If one is a patriot, the people around them will notice. Bill Catlette

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I think the right has made the word patriot, and patriotism, meaningless. It has always had a touch of boosterism about it. Instead of patriotism, I'd rather talk about love of, and support of, democracy. It needs all the help and support it can get now, thanks to those "patriots" of the right.

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After September 11th, a neighbor knocked on my door and asked why I was not displaying a flag. I told him I show my patriotism in ways other than flying a flag. He said that was suspicious and threatened to report me to the HOA (he never did). Patriotism is having the freedom - without fear - to represent my allegiance in a manner that is meaningful to me and respecting others’ freedom to do the same.

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I think patriotism is wanting the best for your country. And being able to recognize when that isn't happening and doing everything you can to fix it. Short and sweet.

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Patriotism--love of my country--is, to me, a very strange thing. Love of anything has to be an emotional thing. But the only time I get emotional about my love for America is when I’m in my birth country (Austria), and some ignoramus says something negative about the American way of life. Then I feel like a mother bear defending her cubs. Of course that changed a bit when W and tfg were presidents and when another mass shooting dominated the news cycle. I feel the same about Austria although I hardly ever hear anyone in America criticizing the country. And everyone just loves the totally schmaltzy and silly Sound of Music. Yet Austria should be closely watched. It is adopting way too many anti immigrant policies (following its corrupt neighbor to the east), and its “Freedom party” the FPÖ, is growing with every election. But these are dangerous times all over the world.

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May 27, 2023·edited May 27, 2023

The decline of respectful discourse can, imho, be directly related to our inability to cope with the rate of change caused by the exponential growth of technology. As Joseph Campbell noted in The Power of Myth in the mid 70's: "the world is moving so quickly myths haven't had a chance to catch up". I am certain he wouldn't have been able to foresee the rate of change we have experienced in the last 20 years. Toffler may have been an exception. Patriotism is an expression of an ideal. For all intents and purposes this adherence to an ideal isn't much different than ascribing to a myth - to make us comfortable, to help us understand the unknowable.

The inability to understand and adapt to rapidly changing technology causes each individual's world view to be under attack. This in turn creates stress, uncertainty and fear. Sadly, we now live in a constant state of emotional, physical and psychological threat. This state of heightened arousal causes us to react based on our perception of personal survival. As could be expected, there are bad actors who take opportunistic advantage of the situation for personal gain. Patriotism is just one facet of our common existence in America that has taken a blow... separating us.

If we are to resurrect patriotism we must relearn how to listen without waiting to respond, listen without judging if our survival is at stake. Then, and only then, we can redefine which stories, which ideals we have in common and how to practice and support those ideals - patriotism being one of the most important to ensure not only our personal survival, but the survival of the ideals that helped build America (as imperfect as they are).

More music. Listen better.

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Sadly, it is the last refuge of scoundrels.

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Mr. Beschloss, from a young age, patriotism has always meant to me love of country, during my service and through the years after it hasn’t changed much. Only that now I see the warts, but love it still. I love the idea of America, that if all have that same love we can be more than just the sum of our parts. However, there is a dark part of American patriotism now, it has been warped and twisted by many to mean ‘us’ not ‘them,’ when that is not my idea of patriotism.

We should all have the same idea of patriotism. One that was laid out by visionaries that declared us a free nation and people. Who understood it wouldn’t come all at once; didn’t fully understand what may come after, but tried like Hell to build the path to follow. The vision of all of us, even though we may not all get along all the time, of believing that we all had the same right to freedom and to be treated with civility and compassion.

For a very long time now, a part of America and her political infrastructure has co-opted the word patriotism and changed its meaning. To them, it now means freedom for me but not for thee. Hell, IDK, maybe it always has meant that for them and many of us didn’t pay enough attention to see it, or, want to believe it.

Since 2016 I’ve been thinking about the word patriotism and what it means, and I continue to be baffled by those who claim to be patriots; wrap the flag around themselves and yet, they still are unable to see what they do in the name of it.

Mr. Beschloss, and everyone - I don’t have the big words, or the education of historians and professors, or may be as versed on such things as patriotism, politics or the big topics the thinkers think about. However, I know what I see. I know what I’ve heard (hear) people around me say. I also see what one party is doing in the name of patriotism, and it scares the Hell of out me.

So, I wrote this because I’ve been asking this question of myself for a while now. I wonder if anyone else has, because the more I see and hear of what many American states are doing in the name of patriotism, the more I worry.

https://wordman.substack.com/p/this-memorial-weekend-i-ask-a-question?r=2bh3nv&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

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Patriotism is more easily described as what it is not and we all have lived through that recently so no reason to belabor it.

Citizens who understand the Constitution and how it empowers the people to be our own and pick our own leaders and not just some hereditary position or dictatorship is the model we follow. And a strong government has gotten us to the top position in the world for most things. That government is made up 'of the people'. We are all part of it. To undermine the value or the trust in our system when there is no legitimate reason or to sow discord only feeds distrust to the undereducated and under informed who won't take the time to see if what they are being told by malcontents passes the 'stink' test. I am hopeful that the majority of us want to maintain and support this government. Memorial day is about those who not only cared enough but gave their lives to defend our position in the world.

My mother became a citizen in the 1950s when she married my father. So I am 1/2 new immigrant, 1/2 old American stock. My father and his brother served our country as Army officers starting in WWII all the way through Vietnam. They trained troops in NATO overseas to make sure the folks back home could sleep easy. He didn't wave a flag around, but he was immensely proud of his country. My mother was also a proud new American. She embraced our culture and history and way of life and was a fierce defender of the US in her role as a military wife and mother and citizen.

So when I see people willing to be called up for service or volunteer for civil duty as simple as a juror or run to be part of our government I want to believe they are doing it for the interest of the country and not for personal enrichment and glory. Some of our presidents have done that better than others.

Because we have been fortunate not to have war touch our own land we have supported countries that share our ideas of government so many of our citizen soldiers have died overseas. They were part of that great power the US evolved into after WWII. Tomorrow we honor them.

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Patriotism is quiet commitment to the country you love despite its screaming imperfections. The parent you love but wish were better. Who made you realize that you were the angry child of a sometimes violent father.

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Patriotism is a state of mind. It is not about the flag you fly or the red, white, and blue clothes you wear. It is about words, the words you say and the words you live by. It is respecting others in this country. It is working together with others to have a better country and world and a better future. It is supporting those who uphold the principles of our founders' governing documents. It is listening to the people in this country no matter what their political view. Is about being an American in spirit not an American who demeans and disrespects others with differing views of democracy and patriotism.

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Ive always believed that true patriotism is the simple love of the country you have grown up in but with eyes wide open to its limitations and flaws. Anything else is just malignant nationalism. Sadly, I am finding myself less and less likely to express my former enthusiastic patriotism lest my expressions be confused with those who are using the flag as a symbol of loyalty to the radicalized right.

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Patriotism is peaceful, persistent protest of our government and its leaders.

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I am a veteran who served 22 years in the U.S. Navy, starting with a one-year tour in Vietnam from July 1967 to July 1968. i was totally in favor of the war when I arrived in country, but by the time I left thought we had backed a corrupt regime and were alienating the very people we were there to protect. The vast majority of U.S. Military personnel who served in country neither spoke the language nor understood the culture, including me.

Not that the Communists didn't perpetuate atrocities, they certainly did. But the devastation we inflicted, not only on their country, but on the people and their culture, by flooding the country with money, blackmarketeering and widespread prostitution we encouraged, made me understand why so many Vietnamese wanted us out of their country. This reality was finally revealed just a few years after we left the country and the South Vietnamese Army, Air Force and Navy we had trained and equipped rapidly disintegrated.

We STILL have not learned the lessons that Vietnam should have taught us — that money and technology alone does not guarantee success. We've repeated the same mistakes over and over again, as evidenced by the debacles we left behind in Iraq and Afghanistan, after 20 long years. We continue to leap into wars without understanding the languages or cultures of the countries we are trying to "Save" or having a clear strategy to achieve our goals.

Thousands of good patriotic American lives were lost or ruined by horrific injuries - both physical and mental. Not to mention millions of Vietnamese. These good souls and the American people deserve better. Platitudes and just displaying the flag are not enough.

Patriotism to me is speaking out and demanding the truth from our leaders.

When will we learn? To me, THAT is the REAL challenge of Patriotism.

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TR’s quote is apt: I just finished reading (as in, finished yesterday!) Adam Hochschild’s “American Midnight”, which covers this very topic in Wilson era. Conscientious objectors to WWI were seen as traitors to our country and imprisoned for well beyond the war years. COs were patriotic too, in my eyes: they didn’t want to send our nation’s young men into war. I highly recommend the book for anyone interested in a critical, honest view of a darker period in our nation’s history.

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In simplest terms, my patriotism demands that I stand for America’s evolved, enlightened democracy’s promise of life, liberty, equality, justice and the pursuit of happiness for all, under government of, by and for all.

Right now, that means speaking truth and facts wherever and whenever I encounter lies and misinformation that seek to undermine and distort that American promise.

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Patriotism for me means, upholding the idea of "the great experiment", democracy; defending our nation and our veterans; defending life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; seeing all colors of race and ethnecity; and choosing who you love, as all equal in the eyes of the law. And flying the flag, OUR flag, on Memorial Day.

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The opposite of Trumpism. It pains me to think of the hell my dad went through World War II army infantry in Italy. And now the republican party has become the Nazi party. What happened to "never forget never forget"?

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Being a citizen of the United States is not supposed to be easy. Rolling out collective ideals should start out with remembering that free thought 💭 is uniquely an American value. Voicing one’s opinion is not an American trait , it goes all the way back to the Greeks who we owe many of our values to. Peaceful Protesting is an extension of free thought . In 2023 groups of people that are fearful of loosing their perceived power to others that don’t look like them or behave like they do has created division fanned by hate. To some hate is being great, to some using violence is acceptable, and to some rolling back the clock to a simpler time when the color of one’s skin determined the correct ideal of the American dream and patriotism. Today America is a truly pluralistic nation, sacrificing for the greater good and the better angels is patriotism in its purest form. On this weekend Americans gather to remember, celebrate, and recall those who made the ultimate sacrifices so that our nation can continue to work on this great experiment the United States . Being a patriot is not about insulting other Americans, being a patriot is about the collective good that we all bring to our nation. The Stars and Stripes waved over the ground covered in the blood of Americans fighting for our country’s independence, blood spilled in the Civil War where Americans fought each other because of slavery. World Wars saw Americans go to foreign shores fighting against fascism , various wars have happened and Americans answered the call because that is who we are as a nation. This weekend take a moment to recognize that what we have is because of the sacrifices that were made for each and every one of us. Hate takes effort, division requires constant energy, reaching across a fence, crossing a street to have civil discourse and agreeing to disagree peacefully is Patriotism . Step out into the light and be respectful with each other. Try to listen with an open heart, because we have more in common than the talking heads who make money fanning hatred and loose listeners discussing our commonalities. Patriotism is remembering that collectively we have done amazing things as a country and that we still and should continue to do great things going forward and never forget those who did the heavy lifting for all of us.

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Allegiance to the Republic. Like the Pledge entails.

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"The devotion to and vigorous support of one's country." That is the definition of the word, Patriotism. To you, Mr. Beschelos, this means what you said it means, especially the appeal to authority you use to include the criticism of a President, as the real motive for your article. Judging from the commentary here, it worked. To me though, it's simpler than that. It's the devotion to and vigorous support of my country. Knowing as I do, that it is the product of men and women, some of which are patriots, who though they recognize it's flaws and hold different opinions on the causes of its present state, endeavor always to make it more perfect. Rather than divide people ideoligally, or racially or religiously, they adhere to the principle encapsulated in the Latin, E Pluribus Unum. In you, I see no evidence of patriotism.

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A few years ago in Publix, a large American Stars & Stripes fluttered above the entrance doors when they were opened. A young boy, probably around 8 or 9, was accompanying his mother , waiting to be cashiered out. Without saying a word, he left her side, stood halfway to the door, and standing straight and tall, legs and feet together, head held high, he raised his arm and saluted that flag.

That was patriotism, taught and performed.

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