There is a growing epidemic throughout the nation today. It is not an epidemic that can be cured with antibiotics, or some new medical procedure. This epidemic must be cured by every individual citizen of this nation. The epidemic I speak of is the death of patriotism.
Allow me to direct your attention back to the Vietnam War protests. War veterans were treated horribly and the public did not rally behind the war effort. I am not saying that people have to be in support of everything the nation does, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, that being said, let us remember that opinions are just that, opinions. Let’s analyze this a little bit though, shall we? Many young men and women gave their time, and in extreme cases their lives, fighting in and supporting the Vietnam War. They gave their service so others did not have to. They served their country, some of them willingly and others begrudgingly. Regardless of whether they wanted to serve or not, they did. Yet their contributions are often overlooked, forgotten, and disrespected. While everyone’s opinions are valid, we should not protest the opinions of others in disrespectful ways, especially in a way that is disrespectful to the country. Disrespecting the contributions that Vietnam Veterans made to the war effort and the country is not only disrespectful to the those servicemen and women, but also to what this nation stands for. However, this was not an isolated incident of a lack of patriotism. The same thing can be seen around us today.
It is no surprise to me that those who are paid millions of dollars to play football can sometimes get a little too big for their britches. Some of you might be asking me, why does that matter? Due to some of the games during 2016 my level of concern has been raised about the lack of patriotism. Colin Kaepernick decided to use his position of quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers to push his own political opinions on the nation. This can be seen when he decided that he would kneel during the National Anthem. I am not saying that he was protesting an issue that should be talked about, nor am I saying that it needs to be talked about. What I want to discuss is the fact that Colin Kaepernick was disrespectful to all the veterans who gave their time, energy, and sometimes their lives so that he can make millions of dollars by throwing and running a football around a field. We need to remember that the rights that we enjoy are not something that we are entitled to. The rights that we enjoy are things that have been fought for and need to be fought for. President Ronald Reagan once said:
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” (Reagan 1964)
We should do our best to remember that the freedoms we enjoy are not guaranteed. Political opinions and agendas should be celebrated and encouraged, but not when they are being pursued through disrespectful means. So put aside your political agendas and opinions and show a little respect for those who did what others could not do for themselves.
“Colin Kaepernick Kneels for National Anthem amid “USA” Chants.” CBSNews. CBS Interactive, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2016
History.com Staff. “Vietnam War Protests.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2010. Web. 10 Nov. 2016.
@gary4205. “October 27,1964: Remembering Ronald Reagan’s Most Iconic Speech.” A Time For Choosing. N.p., 27 Oct. 2013. Web. 10 Nov. 2016.Tags: Okemos High School
The Death of Patriotism by Rylan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.