What does patriotism mean the average American? If we stop someone walking down the street in any city in the country and ask them, “What does patriotism mean to you?” we’re sure to get a variety of answers. Some might even begin by asking if patriotism is even relevant in America anymore or have we gone to a society that is completely wrapped up in the notion of “What’s in it for me?”
At the National Foundation of Patriotism, we feel that the concept of patriotism is alive and well. We do worry, however, that the definition of patriotism may have unfortunately gotten fuzzy for far too many Americans, but we still feel that to define patriotism, we have to look at some basic ideas.
First, defining patriotism requires us to look at a variety of sources including patriotic quotes, our nation’s leaders, our history and even current events. It’s a complex concept, some would even argue that an adequate patriotism definition requires too much subjectivity to really nail down- that patriotism means too many things to too many people. While it’s fair to say that defining patriotism requires more than just a quick glance to Webster’s dictionary, we feel we can identify some basics to help people make up their own mind about what patriotism really means.
At The National Foundation of Patriotism, we believe that defining patriotism is the challenge of all Americans. We absolutely believe that apathy is no longer an option while living in this country and that patriotism begins with activism. It is our civic duty to get involved in what’s happening with our country either by volunteering, donations of time or money or at the very least, by voting responsibly (ensuring that we’re voting for something rather than simply just casting a blind ballot).
We would suggest that patriotism is a time to celebrate what’s right about America and that educating each other about patriotism is part of each citizen’s responsibility. We believe defining patriotism begins with you. Like so many important aspects of life, if you don’t teach your children about patriotism, who will? And, what will they teach?
Finally, we see patriotism as a mission for every American. While our military has done so much over the years to demonstrate patriotism, we believe that it’s every American’s mission to define patriotism not simply in concepts but in actions. It’s a simple fact that societies rise and fall because of a country’s citizens. Apathy erodes the moral fiber of a nation. We need to open conversations about this important part of our heritage and our future as we identify ways we can define patriotism by our values. This has been so much of what has made America great in the past and what will no doubt, maintain American as one of the greatest nations our world has ever seen.
The purpose of the National Foundation of Patriotism is simple: to help people begin conversations about what makes America great. We refuse to believe that our best days are behind us. To support this notion, we want to encourage everyone to begin defining patriotism for himself or herself. To do this, we must have conversations with our family and our friends to remind ourselves why it is truly a privilege to live in our great nation.