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Posts tagged ‘Patriotic’


300px-WW2_Iwo_Jima_flag_raisingWhen first created in May 1868, this holiday was called Decoration Day and was meant to commemorate fallen heroes who served during the Civil War.  It was after World War I that the holiday was renamed Memorial Day and became a day to honor and remember all fallen veterans.  My dad, Raymond F. Ross, was one of those veterans.  He served in World War II; in fact, he was at Iwo Jima when the flag was raised there, caught in the now iconic image of the day.

Dad in UniformAs a kid growing up, I always knew Dad had served in the military.  He was patriotic, flying the flag for all appropriate holidays when my parents lived in their house and then their apartment. He was outspoken about preserving our rights.  He supported the American government, no matter what.  But it was not until I was in 4th grade doing a report on Japan that I talked with him about his time in the war.  He shared with me the items he had brought home—a bayonet, family photos taken off Japanese soldiers, a few photos of Dad in uniform.  There wasn’t much to share.  He was not gung-ho about his time in the war—he shared just the facts of where and when and the basics of his actions.  It was apparent that his service had been his duty to his country, an obligation he willingly met.

service group

dog tagsI’m thinking of Dad a lot today as it is the first Memorial Day since his death—and what would have been his 94th birthday was just the other day.  I’m very proud of my dad and his military service. Others in the family have served as well:  grandfather, uncles, cousins, even a niece-in-law.  I have friends, colleagues and even students who continue to serve their country through military service today.  Even though I am not a fan of war and I do not think our military should be deployed everywhere they are currently serving, I am proud of all who have served and who continue to serve and appreciate their service and sacrifice..

Coral Reef National Park 289

These soldiers—past and present—deserve our honor, respect, and ongoing support.  Letting them know how appreciative we are is what Memorial Day is all about.  So today—while you travel and enjoy barbeques and take advantage of a holiday sale—remember to honor those who serve.  Fly the flag. Shake hands with someone in uniform and say “Thank you!”  Tend a gravesite, attend a Memorial Day Parade, or visit one of the many memorials set up to honor our veterans.  Donate or volunteer for such worthy programs as the Wounded Warrior Project and the Honor Flight.   Do something to show you care!

To help you celebrate Memorial Day, here is a video of Toby Keith singing “American Soldier.”  Enjoy!


Not Watching the Super Bowl?

I have always seen myself as patriotic.  Even back when I protested about the Vietnam War, I labeled myself patriotic.  I cry when I hear the national anthem.  I cringe when I see flags on display that are worn and tattered.  I support our troops, no matter what I think about the war.  I believe in Mom, Apple Pie and the American Dream.  I love what are touted as American Ideals of being honest, hard working, persistent.  I also eat lots of fast food, watch way too much TV, and spend more than I should—gotta love those credit cards!  I speak only English; oh sure, I know a little Spanish but that’s almost by accident.  There is no way I could be deemed bilingual.

Doesn’t all that prove I am truly American?  Until today I would’ve thought so.  Brace yourself:  I am not watching the Super Bowl!  The other day on one of those silly entertainment news shows (now there’s an oxymoron!) one of the hosts was aghast at someone not watching the Super Bowl, not even to see the half-time show and the commercials.  She really thought the person was a big fat liar:  “How could you not watch the Super Bowl?”

At that point, I worried that maybe I was not as patriotic as I thought.  After all, here are some things I must admit to:

  • I do not watch Jersey Shore or other so-called reality shows, except accidentally.
  • That includes the fact that I do not watch American Idol or So You Think I Can Dance, which further  includes—of course—not phoning in votes.
  • I have a cell phone, but I do not text or download apps, nor do I tweet.
  • I do not play “Angry Birds” or “Words with Friends.”
  • I do not own a iPhone, iPad, or anything like an X-box.  I do not even have a DVR.
  • I do not automatically believe what I hear on the news, especially Fox News.
  • As I have already said, I am not watching the Super Bowl; instead I am blogging, reading, even writing some bills and thinking about cooking.

Do you see what I mean?  If I keep this list going, I could pretty quickly label myself as definitely not a stereotypical American.  But then, I guess that is not the same as being unpatriotic, is it?  So I ask you, are you patriotic?  What do you do that demonstrates that? Or, if not watching the Super Bowl today, what are you doing?

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