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SWharton

Patriotism

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Last night we went to a very nice patriotic program by our grandkids school. We are in our snowbird cg for the winter. A few things bothered me. The first was that the National Anthem was played in the middle of the program, not the beginning. I thought that was strange. Then they sang the Armed Forces Medley and I was shocked to see that no one, except me, stood up when their services song was played. I hear this medley probably 10 times a year, if not more, and the norm, at least where we live, is to stand when your(or a relatives) service song is played. The vets normally stand at attention and salute.

 

This is the first time we have been in our snowbird cg so early and I did notice that on Veteran's Day there was very little display of the US Flag on homes which I thought was strange.

 

I was shocked at the lack of patriotism displayed by the audience. Am I wrong in this? Do I live in a weird place where there is too much patriotism?

 

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Was it a veteran's program specifically, or were they just a part of it?

 

Last Sat. we attended a breakfast program at our granddaughters elementary school done each year. Breakfast is free to all vets and each class does a portion of the program and just prior to that class portion each student brings their visiting veteran to be introduced. It is almost competitive to have the most veterans in your family and into includes years served & branch of service. Our granddaughter is in the 5th grade and they were the last class to perform and their part did begin with the national anthem and mostly it was the vets who stood for that. May have been partly the fact that people were eating breakfast? The military song medley was also done by that class and they asked each veteran to stand during the appropriate service's song.

 

That school is in a Dallas suburb and the school was decorated appropriately inside and out. Here in east TX we see flags flown a great deal and especially for holidays.

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I don't see why it makes any difference what/who the program was for. To me it is a matter of patriotism and the appropriate response.

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I don't see why it makes any difference what/who the program was for. To me it is a matter of patriotism and the appropriate response.

Did I say that it does? I only wondered what type program you were attending. Sorry that I asked. :(

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Different generations. And different school administrations policies. And different cultural mix and backgrounds. All of these, seem to influence how patriotic an area may appear.

 

It's also one of those things, that the moment we're under real attack, how quickly everyone becomes almost immediately patriotic:)!

 

While they have a right. When we see celebrities, sports stars, politicians, etc. - showing no to little respect for the flag, or a police officer - that gets spread amounts those that can be influenced. (It's the kids in school that I always have concern for, as they're still so impressionable at that age. And sure, some adults go with the flavor of the month too.)

 

My policy, for many decades now, and also adopted by my nephews, and children of a few close friends, is to:

 

-Always take the time to thank those that served. Especially the WWII vets, which are shrinking in numbers way to fast.

 

-Always take the time to thank law enforcement for serving. Heck, even when being pulled over for reasons I may disagree with. And always talk with respect. Maybe not for the person, but for the position.

 

-Regardless of how I may feel about a serving President. I always say his name as President Carter, Bush, Clinton, Obama, etc. I never just say their last names. Again, for the position, if not the person.

 

-We put out our flags at every opportunity.

 

And on many boards, I thank the Vets for serving too. (Though I admit I did not do so this year!)

 

So, a delayed one now:

 

THANKS TO ALL VETS, AND LAW ENFORCEMENT TOO! Appreciate your service, and the impact it has on our spouse and family too.

 

Best to all, travel safe,

Smitty

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I was shocked at the lack of patriotism displayed by the audience. Am I wrong in this? Do I live in a weird place where there is too much patriotism?

 

Maybe. I was a draftee who served in Korea and pretty much all of us tried not be caught out in the open at the end of the day during Retreat -- as you had to freeze in position, face and salute the flag . . . wind, raid, or shine . . . until the trumpet stopped.

 

I don't think we were un-patriotic. We just didn't care for that ceremony.

 

You're talking about traditions that may or may not have anything to do with patriotism. If fact, sometimes deliberately not participating in one of these traditions may be more patriotic.

 

To me, paying too much attention to flags, anthems, and pledges often smacks of jingoism, not patriotism.

 

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As an Air Force vet from '69-'73 I'm afraid I've seen and experienced the disdain from "average" Americans in the 43 years since then. Thankfully todays vets are treated better but only about 2% of American families have a member in service. The schools spend too much time on standardized tests to cover courtesy and respect and many families don't think it's as important as it once was. I spent 22 years as a special ed teacher and if there is no day off even younger staff members don't acknowledge the day. Sad but true.

Edited by Mr. Camper

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You're talking about traditions that may or may not have anything to do with patriotism. If fact, sometimes deliberately not participating in one of these traditions may be more patriotic.

 

To me, paying too much attention to flags, anthems, and pledges often smacks of jingoism, not patriotism.

 

 

I couldn't agree more. I think that patriotism is an internal thing, like morals and character. Trying to judge how patriotic someone is by how they hold themselves in specific public setting is like trying to judge a person's morality by how often they go to church.

 

The concept of "too much patriotism" or "lack of patriotism" is in the eye of the beholder.

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I tend to try and set the example without being judgemental. Also I think people will often follow some one that reacts 1st. Like the first one to clap. I would like it if everyone was alway good at showing respect and patriotism but it won't affect me negatively if they don't. I can also understand why some feel the need to make a statement about some thing they see as wrong.

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When I was in school we stood every morning and said the Pledge of Allegiance. And we sang Christmas carols and other songs that were religiously oriented. In today's schools, many of the students are not American citizens nor members of Christian religions. In our efforts to be inclusive, some things from our pasts have given way. I'm not sure how "good" or "bad" that is. It is just today's reality. The only constant in life is change.

 

Linda Sand

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I think our nation could use less talk about the patriotism of others, and more people actually serving in the military for at least a two year hitch. It kind of reminds me of a person who has to continually remind people he is in charge. If they have to say they are in charge, they aren't. Free-dom isn't conformity. Everyone conforms in a totalitarian society or is punished/killed. Toilet paper over or under? Seat up or down? My 27 years of military service doesn't give me more right to judge the patriotism of others either. George Carlin has a video about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7O8AI_0F1ts

 

Safe travels!

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Wow I think I joined the wrong club, there is no such thing as to much patriotism. Later

I think this is exactly the type of thing Hitler would have been saying ----- And enforcing in a most brutal fashion!

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I feel that one needs to lead by example. This was a children's program with about 400+ people and I was the only one that stood up during the medley. You can't tell me no one else in that room had not been in the military or had a family member in the military. I want to set a good example for children since they see so much negative about our great country. I don't feel that respecting the flag and what it stands for is jingoism by any means. Maybe I have a different appreciation for what we have in the USA and don't take our freedoms for granted.

 

Regarding the diversity of our country that is what makes America. When I went to school we celebrated all holidays: Christian, Jewish etc. Learned about the different holidays and their meaning. Sang songs from all religions. If you are not American you should still respect the traditions of the US. When we lived overseas for our jobs we followed the traditions of the country we were in as a matter of course. It doesn't bother me that stores etc. are closed on a Saturday or a Thursday or a Sunday as that is the business owner's Holy Day and should be respected. When other countries national anthems are played you stand out of respect and courtesy and are quiet.

 

I agree those who served in the military deserve more respect and really believe everyone should serve 1-2 years in some capacity for our country. Whether it be teaching, military, Peace Corps etc. You would become a better person for this service.

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It may be that those in attendance just didn't know what they were hearing. I'm almost 70 years old, Vietnam Army veteran, and have never heard of an Armed Forces Medley. I wouldn't know the Army song from any other. However, I consider myself a pretty patriotic person. I certainly appreciate the many who have shed their blood so that we have a choice of standing for our flag or not.

 

I wouldn't let it upset you.

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I'm with Chirakawa on this one. Not sure I know what the medley is and certainly would not have thought to stand during the playing of it. Perhaps is this a generational or regional tradition? As for patriotism, just think how far we've come. Just 40 years ago many of us were told to not wear our uniforms on liberty or shore leave. 45 years ago we were told to never go out alone. Less than 50 years ago we were spat upon (not urban fiction, '76 at San Fran airport trying to get to the USO I got tagged).

 

The dictionary defines patriotism as: devoted love, support, and defense of one's country; national loyalty. Yea, I'm pretty patriotic. Nuff said.

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I like Smitty's answer and definition on page one as best in my book, along with several others who posted.

 

I also never refer to a president, sitting or past, as anything other than President and their last name as they are commander in chief. The disrespect shown lately by those wrapping themselves in the flag, then disrespecting the person holding the office is pretty obvious even to children. We indeed do lead by example and can choose to call disrespect patriotism, but like the old saw you can fool some of the people all the time, all some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.

 

I do know the service anthem medley and would not stand unless asked to. And I might be a bit perturbed as civilians don't set the acceptable respect in gesture and position, cover or not. Nor do I stand for America the beautiful unless asked by the program MC. Again it is not the National Anthem despite the fact that I love and agree with every word. Giving the same respect for lesser songs and ceremonies than the US flag and national anthem dilutes. I reserve my positions of respect and salutes for the symbols we all accept as our representations. Not every nice or beautiful song.

 

I certainly do not stand and salute our state flag.

 

Overseas in Germany 1970-Jan 1997 we stood quietly at 5 PM for the German anthem and then snapped to attention and saluted our national anthem during retreat. That did not make me a patriot for Germany. We rendered the host nation respect that is all.

 

The key, give respect in the same measure you would like returned.

 

This salute is presented at several important times:

•When the Flag is being raised or lowered from the flag pole.
•When the Flag is passing by, as in a parade or Flag ceremony
•When reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
•At the Playing of our National Anthem.

In the early part of this century, written PROTOCOL began to be developed for showing proper respect for the flag. It was also during this time that Adolph Hitler came to power in Europe and began his quest to conquer the world. The "seig heil" German salute with the right arm outstretched palm down, became a symbol of tyranny and oppression. As the Flag Code was developing, two major changes also occurred. First, the words in the Pledge of Allegiance were changed so that the Pledge was rendered to "The Flag of the United States of America" rather than "My Flag". Second, a new hand-salute was introduced less similar to the seig heil. The new salute involved placing the right hand on the left side of the breast, covering the heart, to show our love for the Flag and all it stands for.

 

Chris you posted while I was typing this and I agree wholeheartedly with yours and Chirakawa's too.

 

Swharton,

You could have a talk with the folks at the school and ask if they would ask others to stand for it, despite it not being included in the written flag code or the military and civilian codes for respect to the National Anthem. It is a slippery slope. If we keep adding songs when we only have one national anthem how will we know which are which?

 

Here is a Wiki asking:

Why should we respect our National Anthem and National Flag?

 

They broke the answers down to 9 categories here: https://www.quora.com/Why-should-we-respect-our-National-Anthem-and-National-Flag

 

I accept that our freedom and liberty allows so many diverse opinions. They are experiencing life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. I don't feel threatened by any of them. Even for the opinions I disagree with, I have no strong feelings except as to how I will behave.

 

Thanks all who walk the walk.

 

Huah

Edited by RV

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