Yes, I made it home alive! What a week. Going to be doing some big time catching up in the next few days, including finishing up the next podcast episide. I woke up this morning thinking of ways to express my feelings related to patriotism. First thing that came to mind was the MacArthur “Duty, Honor, Country” speech delivered at West Point and at one time commited to memory by yours truly – yes, against my will. This speech always gave me goosebumps, for it contained many views of soldiering that I sincerely agree with, and now view have been diluted by an irresponsible administration. An administration, I might add, that pretty much knows fuck all about soldiering.
For all eyes and for all time, it is an expression of the ethics of the American soldier. That I should be integrated in this way with so noble an ideal arouses a sense of pride and yet of humility which will be with me always: Duty, Honor, Country.
Pride and humility. Something completely lost on the current administration.
But then I clean out emails and come across this article by a favorite of mine, Howard Zinn: Patriotism and the Fourth of July. Howard pretty much nails it:
In celebration of the Fourth of July there will be many speeches about the young people who “died for their country.” But those who gave their lives did not, as they were led to believe, die for their country; they died for their government. The distinction between country and government is at the heart of the Declaration of Independence, which will be referred to again and again on July 4, but without attention to its meaning.
The true patriot is indeed someone who supports our country’s ideals and not necessarily its government. But attempts have been made over and over again to appeal to such blind patriotic support of a government that we almost equate patriotism with such. I encourage everyone to read this piece and really think about your notion of patriotism – this includes my staunch Republican friends. Are you a patriotic American or are you being led around by the nose by jingoistic appeals?