An Open Letter to a Patriot

Subject: An Open Letter to a Patriot
From: Mom of Boys
Date: 17 Jul 2019

Patriotism meant something so much different then it did when I was a little girl growing up in a non-millennial, non-tech obsessed, everything manual generation. Even though the word patriotism still means "devotion to and vigorous support for one's country" according to Webster's good old dictionary, there is a definite distinction of language evolution happening throughout the years. I know that people change, politics change, generations change, and philosophies change. However, being a patriot is a feeling or pride that has stood the test of time in America for over 200 years. That feeling of that same patriotism for this country is manifesting into a different emotions. There is a feeling sadness and desperation to get back to the old days when kids waved little mini American flags on sticks and you pledge the flag in every classroom, political meeting, and sporting event throughout our country. You didn't question its meaning because if anything it made you as American look and feel united. You looked at the stars and stripes and the feeling was solidarity and freedom. Freedom meant something to all different races, sexes, and backgrounds but it was freedom nonetheless. You didn't burn flags, keep them waving on a pole with tattered ends, or ever let them hit the ground. The Boy Scouts would take donations of worn out American flags and "properly" dispose of them. You didn't kneel during the national anthem. You took the time to shake soldiers hands and thank them for their service. You crossed your heart with your ball hat and listened. You respected the flag and what it stood for.
The flag and the National Anthem is a symbol of hardships that this country has overcome within the birth of this nation. There were slaves, oppression, depression, and a recession. There were 2 World Wars, Korean War, Vietnam War, Iraq and Afghanistan. At times (and more than likely still now) the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. The African Americans were slaves, the immigrants were starving, and the American Indian lost their land. Women couldn't vote, go to college, and still made less then men did even if they did find a place in the workforce. Different races at different times were different targets of injustice. The flag represents all these hardships and the ability for America to stay united and strong. It is a symbol of survival and change. Sometimes the change was good, sometimes not as much. Sometimes the changes were fast, sometimes not as much. The United States of America is a metamorphic country that evolves over time. There is a constant need to change and develop as with all living things. It is a process that we are still learning everyday in this modern world. Our nation is not 100 percent. There are flaws, injustices, and errors that we make and have made. However, it is the best country in the world when it comes to true freedom. So next time, when you hear the anthem or see a flag, think about how far we have gotten (even if it has been slow with bumps in the road). Pay respect to the struggle we have gone through and the future struggles are kids will have to endure. Pay respect to OUR FREEDOM!