Patriotism is the cloak we wear to announce our love of country and our bond to our neighbors. It reflects our commitment to each other and to the ideas upon which this country was founded. It is that which trumpets the chorus “We Stand Together.” The threads are our highest and noblest principles and they remind us to be vigilant in regard to their protection, lest they become bare, frayed, distorted and lose their luster. It is not blind obedience, but is thoughtful and reflective. It is that of a caretaker. Mindfully practiced, it can shape the essence of the individual and thus be reflected in our society. It is a simple thing and is profound in its potential.
It is also a simple and profound thing that occurs when it is neglected, distorted, or diminished. We lose the We. The We becomes strangers who have forgotten what price has been paid in blood for our individual Freedoms and Obligations. The We becomes we who are less committed and connected to our neighbors and common values. When the cloak is removed, it is harder to recognize from a distance what principles are within the heart, what they are striving for.
Patriotism is not a dangerous word when it is grounded in precious truths that we have to aspire to and frequently fall short of. It is not a dangerous word when it is practiced sincerely, inclusively and humbly. It is the journey of a group that wants the Nation to radiate warmth and love. It is why individuals have the courage to stand up to the government when the nation’s principles seem to be lost or off tract. Because the principles mean something, many hearts weep when the next generation appears to have forgotten or never were taught about the journey, the price. Freedom is not free and there are those that would take it away.
Just as Senator Obama said in February during this election cycle, “Don’t tell me words don’t matter. ‘I have a dream.’ Just words? ‘We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.’ Just words? ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.’ Just words? Just speeches?” I agree with the Senator that words do matter.
I would also add, “Don’t tell me that symbols don’t matter. Putting your hand over your heart when saying the Pledge. Just a symbol. Treating the Flag with reverence. Just a symbol. Wearing a Flag lapel pin. Just a symbol. And guess what, – symbols matter. It should matter even more for the representatives of our government. It is a part of being mindful about our freedom. It is part of showing the next generation that these ideals are the principles of this Nation. These principles are why our fathers, mothers, sons, daughters are called upon sometimes to risk losing their lives. Symbols matter. They slow the decay of ideas by causing us to remember.
That is why this photo creates in me such distress. Sen. Obama might become President and he doesn’t have a clue about what being Patriotic means. There is a level of arrogance in his actions that slaps everyone who has had to answer the call to arms. I believe he refers to us as the clingers. The clingers to guns and religion whose forefathers founded this great country and in January of 2009 might become his subjects. The Senator seems to only see the negative in America and not its strengths. He must have learned that from his pastor.
“There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America.”
William J. Clinton
To Follow the Larry Sinclair story that the media is trying to suppress and for up to date information regarding Mr. Larry Sinclair’s allegations, “Senator Obama and Larry Sinclair engaged in the illegal use of cocaine and engaged in gay sex in 1999”, see links below: