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There are many things that you can do to show patriotism for your country. Some things are very easy to do, others could be rather difficult. Patriotism, as defined by Dictionary.com, the quality of being patriotic; devotion to and vigorous support for one’s country (patriotism). But this does not mean going crazy and shooting off rounds of fireworks or buying an expensive American flag to proudly display on your front lawn, it is making this country a more enjoyable place to live for your family and yourself.
Sometimes, little things like standing up in respect for the flag can make a huge difference. Standing for the National Anthem should be necessary for citizens because it is a form of unity, sets an example for younger generations, and it is respectful for the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
People always enjoy certain feelings that make you feel at home, whether it is the smell of freshly baked cookies, being with your family and friends, and overall comfort you find in others.
Many people, including myself, associate comfort with the word unity. Unity, also known as coming from one person to be joined as a whole, is a very humbling, yet powerful feeling. When you are in a group of people who are separate, you may feel isolated or sad, but if all people join hand in hand with a purpose to pursue a goal, it makes you feel stronger and more determined.
Now you may ask yourself, how does the word unity help the argument on the importance of standing for the National Anthem? The United States is known to be a melting pot of many different cultures, religions, and races.
All of these things can be a blessing but a curse, thanks to our many freedoms. This country was founded on the fact that people wanted freedom to do what they choose, which is one of the factors that make people so attracted to the United States. Now all of these individual freedoms that make people unique are very good to have, but sometimes they tend to be overwhelming.
This argument has been majorly publicized from professional sports athletes kneeling or sitting for the National Anthem, arguing that it is their right of peaceful protest and that they wont stand for a flag that symbolizes hate, it causes more of a publicity kick than a purpose. When you are disrespectful towards our nation’s flag, you are dividing your teammates, fans, and coaches (Cook). You tend to ruin a game that is supposed to be fun that so many people enjoy by breaking a bond of unity by not respecting our country.
Being in a country that is used to tradition, whether their traditions may be morally right or wrong, people usually do not like to change their ways. This is very noticeable when you see the majority rule out the minorities like they are lesser of people because they are different. According to the 2014 U.S. Census, 20 million children under the age of 5 were minorities; that is roughly 50.2%! That is 20 million people with different cultures and customs than what we usually see (Yoshinaga). That is 20 million people who have grown up in different places all around the world, have so many special stories to tell, eat unique foods, practice religions that are unlike your own, and may do things that we are not used to. Some people despise change, others embrace it. Even when you see all of these new things growing and changing all around us, you can still remember one thing that brings you back to your roots, and that thing is a short tune that is recognized from each corner of the country, the National Anthem.
When it came to the validation of unity being a main point in this argument, a famous quote from Woodrow T. Wilson came to mind stating: “We cannot be separated in interest or divided in purpose. We stand together until the end” (unity sayings). This is a very important thing to mind when you are faced with America’s issues. The injustices caused by people not standing for the flag because it’s one of their freedoms guarded by the first amendment should not be a strong argument. You are standing in unity respecting a symbol of hope, perseverance, and justice. If you are living in the United States, you should be obligated to stand at respect for the flag because you, as a citizen, should believe every written word of the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem.
Next time you stand up at a public or sports event for the National Anthem, remember that you are standing with respect to the flag, just like the people around you. It doesn’t matter where you or they came from, it doesn’t matter what your religion is, what car you drive, or how high paying your job is. What does matter is how you are standing there with appreciation, setting all of your differences and preferences with others aside, and standing in unity. You are standing in unity instead of diversity; even though diversity is just as beautiful, the feeling of unity is comforting. Standing as one group of people who share the same love for a country is a powerful thing, you just have to take in the moment and embrace it.
No matter what you do, somebody is usually always looking up to you. Whether it be in school, at work, or even at home with your siblings, somebody always has their eyes on you. This is a very crucial thing to remember when you are doing everyday tasks. When you have others looking up to you, you tend to remember to use your manners, have proper etiquette, and treat others with respect.
Although we do all of these things, there are actions that we do that sometimes get skipped over in our minds. One of these things that we happen to forget about is showing patriotism. When standing at attention for the flag, you are setting an example for the generations below you, because they look up to you and follow what you do. If you show love and pride for your country, its flag, and its National Anthem, younger generations will most likely do it as well. In a speech that first lady Melania Trump gave to the United Nations she stated: “If we do not advocate a love of country to our children and the generations to come, then why would our children grow up to fight for their countries, the founding principles and moral truths?” (refusing to stand). This quote strongly supports the second topic in the thesis statement about how children look up to you to.
Handing down pride for your country through each generation is very important to the survival to this country. When you stand for the Anthem, younger generations will do so as well. Children are known to be curious, so they may ask questions about why you stand for the flag, what the flag symbolizes, and why it is important to show proper respect for it. You may answer these kinds of questions in many different ways based on your opinions. Whether it be a little thing about what the colors of the flag mean that you learned in middle school, or simply the fact you just do it because everybody else does it, the kid will take that to heart.
When everyone in a crowd stands at respect for the flag, we are not just standing for America’s history, but we are also standing for the future of our country, along with our children’s future (refusing to stand). If children see that we stand with respect, they will as well. This may encourage them to show more patriotism for the United States and encourage them to do research about their country and learn about its principles and morals, so they can pass it on as well. It is necessary for us to stand for the National Anthem, so that the future generations may have the privilege to do so as well.
The next reason to stand is pay respect for the National Anthem or Pledge of Allegiance is one of the most popular points argued by multiple people, it is that many people died for this right. Many people, men or women, minority or majority, young or old, chose to make put their lives on the line and pay the ultimate sacrifice for this country. No matter what beliefs or customs you have, or what corner of the United States you are from, you should always believe that this point is one of the most valid in the argument on the appropriate way to respect our beloved Nation’s flag.
The National Anthem is written to honor all of the men and women who have been injured, risked their own lives, or who are deceased due to war. An average of 1.2 million Americans and counting have died because of war. When you decide to sit or kneel for the National Anthem, you are being disrespectful to all of those who have passed on, also to those whom in which are injured or are active duty military personnel. When you stand, you are standing for the people who are not able to; whether they can’t because they were born that way, or they have fought and are now disabled veterans.
This country was founded by hard working people who were united with one goal in mind: freedom. But with the many great things that come with freedom, sadly it isn’t free. Nobody really takes the time to analyze the National Anthem’s lyrics, but the phrase “Land of the Free” is very important. We are land of the free, because of the brave men and women who made multiple sacrifices for this country. From the early beginnings of America’s history, soldiers for United States did not fight to the death for your ability to kneel, but for the freedom that you could stand in respect for our flag without being persecuted for your beliefs (Cowing).
Whether the freedom you fought for was for religious purposes, cultural rights, or even just a voice to be heard, many people put their lives on the line so they could choose whatever they would like to do without being punished for the choices that they make. Although this may contradict my statement by having people forced to do something they do not want, standing at attention is the least that you can do. The fact that you are the type of person who does not want to do so because it is against your culture, or America does not support you because of your race or ethnic background, that should not be an excuse for this behavior. Many cultures all around the world, including China, Scotland, and even Vietnam care a lot about their elders, because they would not be where they are today or learn the ways of life without them (Larsen). Just like in America, if it was not for the elders who served in the bloodiest battles in history, you would not be able to have the same rights you have today. When you stand for the flag, not only are you respecting this country, you are helping the elderly by metaphorically being their legs when they can not stand on their own.
The military is primarily made up of volunteers, which makes you think, you must have to have a lot of pride if you are willing to risk your life for the well being of the country you know and love. Every service man and woman each know that their goal is to keep this country free, while fighting for our individual rights and justice. If an issue is worth the struggle of fighting for, then it must be honorable. This is where the everyday American should pitch in and show their patriotism by standing up with respect and honor our nation’s flag, Pledge of Allegiance, and National Anthem.
Standing for the National Anthem should be necessary for citizens because it’s a form of unity, sets an example for younger generations, and its respectful for the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Next time you are debating whether or not you should stand at attention for our Nation’s flag, remember that by doing so, you can still make an impact on somebody. One little action like this could make a big difference in unifying a crowd. By standing with honor for a flag that many American men and women died for, you are not only building stronger patriotism for yourself, you are teaching others around you that it is the right thing to do.
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