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Patriotism: Faith in Freedom

Joined: 7/9/2013
Posts: 2
Sitting with my hands linked securely around my knobby, bruised knees in my butterfly embroidered jeans and light up sneakers, I listened to my third grade teacher explain the American revolution and paint an ideal picture of the home of the free. I found myself captivated by the story of a frigid night when a coated man rode down ragged dirt roads, painting the air with his frosty breath, warning of a British invasion. I was entranced by the tales of bravery and the sacrifice people made in order to be free, to allow a little girl in a third grade classroom to have equality. It was simple back then, the idea of freedom: everyone, no matter what age, gender or faith is entitled to human rights. I never thought it could be any different, I thought that after that chilly ride in 1775, after that ink mark parchment being sent to England in 1776 and after the last bullet was fired on that fateful day in Yorktown in 1781, that was it. After that moment, a feat was over and American society was stagnant as my staple for freedom.

Since then I have realized how gradual change can be. A spark of revolt just leaves the bareness of a new beginning; one that needs to be pieced together from the tumbled ending, the blocks cracked a repaired as time passes. After we escaped our hold from England and were born a Republic, we still lived with oppressions. We treated white men with more dignity than others, African Americans as servants and women as domestics. We changed. In 1886 a proclamation was made to free slaves and the concept was not truly completed until almost 100 years later with Rosa Parks refusing to leave her tattered bus seat and Martin Luther King Jr. willing to die in order to sway a reticent nation. Women were granted the right to vote in 1920, one hundred and forty four years after the United States became a democracy.

It is for this reason that I do not believe that America can be labeled the greatest nation in the world and for these reasons that I believe being content with the way we are is nothing but a thinly veiled farce. Patriotism is not about thinking that your country trumps all others or that there is nothing wrong with it. I am a patriot because I believe in the promise of America. In our short history we have gone from isolationists to leading forces in world wars to world policemen. This country has believed in slavery, has believed in women suffrage, has looked at decadent situations in the face and turned its cheek. We still are a baby country, and we still are developing to become a great nation. I am proud of my country for all the wrongs it was able to right and I love it for infusing hope in the youth that we can still fix all that is corrupt today.
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
Awesome essay. You are a very talented writer, and I wanted you to know that I greatly enjoyed reading your viewpoints on patriotism. Thank you for submitting your voice to Stage of Life. Your words are powerful.

- Rebecca Thiegs (Co-founder,
Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013 7:49:16 PM
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Comment by tordcksn17

Joined: 7/9/2013
Posts: 2
Thank you so much! I wrote this on a whim and I'm really glad I did, it feels amazing to share my view points and be heard.
Posted: Monday, August 26, 2013 3:47:18 AM
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Comment by LillianDupres

Joined: 10/29/2013
Posts: 8
Fantastic essay! :)
Posted: Sunday, November 3, 2013 4:36:37 AM
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