25 Ways to Be Patriotic
Are you patriotic? Ordinarily, you might not have to consider the question, unless it happens to be the season between Memorial Day and Labor Day in the United States, or if you are running for President. What is "patriotism," and why is it so hard to define? Some might call it a demonstrated love of country. Others claim it to be pride of the place we call home. Push it further and I know of people that say that patriotism demands support of our elected officials, no matter the course of their actions or the outcomes.
How can you show that you are patriotic?
Learning about the Nation is Patriotic
How Can Kids Show Their Patriotism?
The potentially thorny issues of patriotism need not concern young children. All they want to do is celebrate the summer, which usually involves waving of the red-white-and-blue. Here are 10 ways that your kids can celebrate living in America:
- Wear a Flag T-Shirt (many styles available at Wal-Mart, Target, Old Navy and more)
- Wave hand-held flags - craft stores carry these in bulk
- Go to the library or book store and read about our Founding Fathers and Mothers!
- Decorate a wagon with red, white and blue streamers and/or balloons and have a neighborhood parade
- Learn the words to the Star Spangled Banner, the National Anthem of the United States
- Make special treats in the kitchen and decorate with red and blue sprinkles (cupcakes or rice crispy treats are easy)
- Have a "Safe and Sane" fireworks display (parents or adults in charge and supervising)
- Make your own blue and/or red popsicles (try using Kool-Aid or juice)
- Print out and color free American flag pictures
- Have your children write a list of what their country means to them (or draw a picture)
11 More Ways Adults Can Show Patriotism
With respect to adults, one need not wear patriotism on their sleeve (or T-shirt, or even lapel). How you feel about your country is a private affair, much like religion, that is best not discussed or debated. If you enjoy the festivities, then by all means, there are many ways in which you can show your love of country to the world this time of year! Continuing the list from above, these include:
- Hoisting a flag or posting one on your home or apartment
- Declaring your patriotism on bumper sticker(s) on your car
- Fastening mini-flags to your car antennas
- Buying and wearing your own flag t-shirt (to match those of your kids)
- Outfitting the dog and/or cat in red white and blue collars and leashes, particularly if you have no children
- Participating in a 4th of July Pet Parade (or other similar local parade)
- Participating in an eating contest - yes, this is the ultimate in gluttony. How many hot dogs can YOU put away in 5 minutes?
- Spending inordinate amounts of money on fireworks so you can literally watch it burn
- Overeating, drinking too much and sleeping in the following day (praise heaven for 3-day holiday weekends)
- Inadvertently creating red and white stripes on your shoulders where you miss with the sunscreen (yeah, sure, it was intentional)
- Stopping for just a moment to remember why and how we celebrate our National Holidays
Supporting the Troops is Patriotic
Patriotism endures far beyond just a single day in July (here in America), or even the summer season stretching from Memorial to Labor Day. Without the current threat of the draft, military service is a choice these days. Some would say that the honor of being a "patriot" may have even lost some of its luster with the Gulf conflicts and other strategies of the past 15 years. But just because you may question our government's actions, or even distrust some of our elected officials, does not mean you are inherently unpatriotic. We must remember that one of the primary things that makes this nation great - our freedom itself - is the ability to express discontent without fear of arrest. So perhaps, even if you are not feeling particularly patriotic this year, you can remember that, because of this great system put in place over 225 years ago, we can each celebrate the nation's birthday in our own ways.
For that, I am both grateful and full of patriotic pride.