Is it really just a flag?

I have been writing all afternoon/evening (with a few breaks, of course), trying to finish up scholarship applications.  Even though I can use the same essays, it needs a little tweaking for every scholarship.  Plus some are totally different and I need to write new ones.  (the post two days, ago, for instance. My essay on Human Trafficking)  So, I really have to rush and am kind of “wrote”-out, so I’m going to give you another of my little essays.  I apologize, because this is very similar to another post on here that I wrote awhile ago.  It’s about being patriotic, only this one’s from more of a personal angle.  Unlike my last essay I showed you guys,  I’m not asking for feedback.  Not that I’d mind it, but they’re due today, so it’s a little late for that.  🙂  Have a great day!

 

Statement of Americanism

 

            Conveying my patriotism on paper is very difficult for me to do.  You see, although I love my country passionately for the freedoms it has given me, there’s a part of me that has always, since my earliest days, connected my love of country with my love for my grandfather, Howard Ross.  He was a WWII veteran and POW for 18 months, earner of several medals, including the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.  He was my hero and I looked up to him in every way possible. 

            One of my most precious memories I have of him was a warm, sunny day in July, at a parade in town.  I was young, about ten or eleven years old.  When the Colors came around the corner, I knew everyone was supposed to rise.  Yet, there are always people who don’t.  Some have excuses—physical disabilities, maybe—but many don’t.  I was starting to form the opinion, by observation, that this was just a nonchalant thing.  That’s when I heard my elderly grandfather groan, struggle and eventually push himself—weak, but unaided—out of his flimsy lawn chair.  Ironically, the reason it was so painful for him is because he had terrible knee trouble that started when he was injured during the war. 

It clicked in my young mind then, how important our flag really is.  It’s a symbol that represents a pride so deep that I have no adjectives in our English language at my disposal to use in describing it.  What it symbolizes is so important!  It represents us.  It’s who we are.  It’s what gives me the ability to walk up to a complete stranger and say, “Hey, I don’t care if you’re Jewish, Christian, buddhist or atheist…I don’t care if you’re white, black, brown or red…I don’t care whether you’re democrat or republican…I still love you.  Why?  Because that flag flying overhead ties us together in the most unique bond ever known to mankind!”

            I never take the pledge of allegiance—or, for that matter, any other American symbol—lightly.  When my dear grandpa died, in 2003, my patriotism surged even more.  Any minor display of disrespect for our country I took as a direct affront to him.  After all he did for this country, how grateful is it?  It didn’t take long for me to realize that it wasn’t just him.  It was an attack on so many others, as well, who fought for this nation!  And beyond that, I now know, it’s a personal offense even at me.  Because I don’t have to have fought in war to be a patriot.  I’m an American citizen.  If you don’t like this country, you don’t like me, either.

            I’ve purposed to be the best citizen that I can be.  For my grandpa, yes, but also for myself.  I always stand straight and tall when reciting the pledge in school.  No leaning against my desk, whispering, chewing bubble gum or any other junk.  Even if I’m not in class, I will stop when the pledge is announced over the loudspeaker and find the nearest flag, or, if there aren’t any around, will at least stop what I’m doing, no matter how rushed I am.  Because, if my grandpa could take a bullet, I can take 30 seconds off of my last-minute studying. 

            My Americanism doesn’t consist of following my grandfather’s footsteps in battle, but it does follow him in patriotism.  I believe in being a good, honest, respected citizen, just like he was.  I believe in giving this country back the decency and character it was always known for.  I believe in pride and I’m damn proud to be an America.

 

*note: I don’t swear in the actual application.  I took it out for that, ’cause I didn’t know if I’d get docked for it or not.  🙂

 

By the way, if any of you can think of adjectives you’d use to describe your feelings about the flag of your country (in whatever language) please leave them as comments!  I’m all ears!

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