Monday, July 7, 2008

Sunshine Patriots by Nannette Croce

In the most literal way we are all "sunshine patriots" in the US. Turning out on a midsummer day to wave flags and ooh and ahhh at fireworks. The finish of this July 4th weekend and recent remarks by Senator Barack Obama has me reflecting on patriotism.

Many of us today associate "patriot" with the veterans whose graves we decorate on the first official summer holiday––Memorial Day. Our military does make the ultimate sacrifice, but in the eyes of the Founding Fathers "patriots" are also those pesky protesters of every war. It is common, today, to speak of questioning our government as a right, but to the founding fathers it was more than that, it was a duty. It was the People who would keep their government honest, by constantly questioning its actions. The government served at their will. The People ran the country, not the Congress, not the Judiciary, and certainly not the President. Nothing would have horrified the supporters of independence and the framers of the Constitution more than the notion that patriotism requires marching in lock step with whatever the President or the Congress decides to do.

So what does this all have to do with gratitude? I am grateful to those enlightened individuals who put their lives on the line (had the outcome been different they could have all hanged for treason) in the cause of this truly revolutionary idea. I express that gratitude by reminding myself and others what it all really means and what it requires from us to keep it working as our forefathers intended.

1 comment:

Angie Ledbetter said...

Questioning and protesting and hashing it all out keeps us all on our toes and demands we remain involved. Here's to different voices all being heard!

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