What Do You Love & What Makes You Proud of Your Country?

@anniepa (27240)
United States
July 26, 2008 10:15pm CST
I'm a proud citizen of the U.S.A. but anyone from any country is certainly welcome to respond here. There has been so much talk about patriotism and being proud of one's country recently, especially because of the coming Presidential election here but I'm a bit confused as to what some people really mean when they speak of patriotism and love for their country and feeling proud of their country. Months after she said them Michelle Obama's comments about it being the first time in her adult life she was really proud of her country is still being brought up over and over again. John McCain said something very similar several times but that hasn't gotten nearly the attention Michelle's remarks have. I'm not here to attack either of these Americans; I have no doubt they both love and are proud of our nation. I can't see revisiting the whole context of what either said, especially Michelle's since hers was the one that has caused such a furor, since everyone already has their own opinion about what was said and what was meant. Here's what I would like to discuss - everyone is expected to be patriotic and, rightfully so, anyone who isn't is immediately subject to much criticism and invitations to leave the country and go somewhere else to live. Patriotism and pride in our country seem to be thought of as one and the same, but ARE they the same? Is it possible to love one's country without being proud of each and everything done by your country, or more specifically you country's leaders? Is it really so terrible to feel NOT so proud of some things? Also, when you say you "love" your country, what do you really mean? What do you love - the land, the view, the resources and other physical properties, the principles it was founded on, the current government or maybe its people? Is it possible for someone to claim they love their country and are filled with pride for it, to proudly fly the flag and in the case of those of us in the U.S. proudly sing our Anthem and recite our Pledge of Allegiance but at the same time put down either our country's leaders at any given time and/or many of not most of its people? For me it's pretty simple; I love my country and I'm very proud to be an American and I'm proud of what the U.S.A. stands for, the rights and freedoms that we enjoy and often take for granted. I'm proud of those who fought to give us those rights and are fighting and will fight in the future to help us keep them. I'm proud of so many of the accomplishments my fellow Americans have had, so many things my country has done to help other around the world. None of that means there haven't been things I haven't been or that I'm not so proud of. That doesn't take away from my love of my country or my fellow Americans, I just think at some times and in some says we could do better. Most importantly, what makes a country if not the people in it? For the most part I love my fellow Americans and feel that we as a country will never truly be the best we can be if we don't unite as a people and help to take care of our own who are less fortunate. Now it's your turn! I know you love your country and you're proud of your country; now tell me what that really means to YOU and what do you expect of you fellow countrymen/women? Annie
6 people like this
10 responses
@mcat19 (1358)
• United States
27 Jul 08
I love America, but I am not proud of everything she does. One of the great things about this country is that we can speak our mind without fear. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with this, one of our basic principles. If we blindly accept everything our government does, we are no better than the Germans before the Second World War. It is because we love our country that we want to correct it when it's wrong. It is not our job to compel the world to think and feel as we do. There are countries that are not democratic. We can't force democracy on the world. We think it's the best way, but it is only the best way when the people demand it, not when it is crammed down their throats. We need to vote in every election. If we don't, we are not being American and not being part of a democracy. We make others be democracies, but we don't participate in our own. That makes me very sad.
4 people like this
@anniepa (27240)
• United States
27 Jul 08
I agree 100% with all that you said here. It doesn't make you or me or anyone else who says they're not proud of everything our country does aren't good Americans or that we don't love our country and quite frankly, I resent it when people imply that. You're right, we can't force democracy on the world. There are some places where they really don't want it, they've never known it so they don't want it. Also, I said long before Michelle Obama ever did that I wasn't at all proud of our country when it comes to our voting record. Every other nation that has democratic elections puts us to shame! Our turnouts were much better than usual in the primaries this year and hopefully that trend will carry into the general in November but we still have a ways to go. I think any less than a 75-80% turnout is too low and I mean of eligible voters, not registered voters. You're right, it makes me sad too that more don't take advantage of the privilege we're given. Annie
3 people like this
@lvaldean (1612)
• United States
27 Jul 08
I am proud that we continue to have the right to debate the issues. I am proud that we continue to make progress in Civil Rights despite our ocassional setbacks. I am proud that we are remain free to worship, or not, as our heart directs us rather than as a government directs us. I am proud that we still have a nearly intact Constitution and Bill of Rights despite the attempts by some to dismantle it.
3 people like this
@anniepa (27240)
• United States
27 Jul 08
So far we still have our Constitution but you're sure right about attempts to dismantle it! The Patriot Act and the recent FISA Bill are two examples of our current government trying to take some of those rights away. To the next poster, Kennyrose, thank you for responding but while the video you posted is no longer available, or at least isn't right now, you've posted it many times before and I think most everyone is familiar with Senator Obama's call to service speech. I think if something that was implemented where people would actually be rewarded for giving of themselves by receiving help in getting an education that would give us all even more to be proud of our country for. I'm proud that most Americans are raised with the belief in giving back to the country that has given them so much. There's much that needs to be done here and many people to do it; it's just a matter of pairing the two together. Annie
@spalladino (17924)
• United States
27 Jul 08
Politics aside, I am most proud that the United States is the most generous nation in the world and that, even when times are tough for us, we do not forget those in need in far away lands. I am proud that this nation has survived and flourished for so many years and that our goals are, for the most part, honorable ones. Many don't agree that we should have gone into Iraq but I watch the news daily and I saw the games that Saddam was playing wiht NATO and the inspectors that he finally let into his country. The situation was a potentially dangerous one, not only for the U.S. but for many other nations and I'm proud that the U.S., along with our allies, stepped up to the plate and took on such a large operation. I am proud of the young men and women who join the military to serve their country and risk their lives doing so, without asking for rewards or special recognition. I'm proud of the brotherhood that is found in so many towns and cities and how Americans come to the aide of strangers when something terrible happens. We are a caring and generous people who try more than anything else to do the right thing and for that I am extremely proud.
3 people like this
@anniepa (27240)
• United States
27 Jul 08
I agree, I'm also proud that the US always is the most generous country in the world, or one of the most generous. I may not agree with the Iraq war but I'm very proud of every single one of our troops and alway have been. I'm proud of how everyone came together following 9/11. One thing I'm not real proud of is the fact that in the richest nation in the world and in a nation that does always rush to the aid of the rest of the world we still have people who are homeless, including many veterans who have fought for us and we still have people who can't afford health care. There have been many stories of people being brought from foreign countries to a very large and reputable hospital in my area when they needed expensive and complicated surgeries and treatments. They're brought here, along with their families who are give room and board while the patient is undergoing treatment and while they're recovering and the n they're sent back home, all free of charge for them. Often the hospital donates the whole cost. However, there have been just as many examples of people, including small children, who have needed serious treatment such as organ transplants but they didn't have insurance or enough insurance to cover it so there would be local fund-raisers to help them get the care they needed. A local hospital can donate their services and medicine to foreigners but they can't help a local resident. That doesn't make me one bit proud. Annie
3 people like this
@ZephyrSun (7385)
• United States
27 Jul 08
You asked a very interesting question, to be very honest with you pride and love for this country is very very hard for me at times. I suppose that I should explain since I'm sure that there will be those that give me a lot of shyt for that statement. There are certain actions taken by our government that really upsets me, one of that being the current war in Iraq. We basically rushed right over there to save the poor oppressed people of Iraq, since of course they were under the rule of such an awful leader, and they had oil, well I believe that oil was a big part of it. And for all of you that do not believe that we are in Iraq because they have oil, then ask yourself this question, why have we not rushed over to save the poor people of Darfur and the genocide that is going on in that country? I believe that the answer to that question is, they don't have anything that we can use, nothing that we want, or nothing that we need. Yet, the United Nations released a report stating that 70,000 people were killed in Darfur, but that number only covered six months of the fighting that has been going on over there for two years. It is actions like this that makes it very hard for me to feel pride and love for my country, because if we are going to help one nation being ruled by some horrible leader, than dammit help them all. I feel the most love and pride for my country when we as a nation experience a natural or man made disaster. It amazes me when this country experiences something like these because it is truly the only thing that unites us. The poor and the rich come together to help one another. Politicans put aside their differences to help the people, Hollywood stars come out and help in all different types of way, everyone unites to take care of this country. Nothing makes me prouder than when we as a country work together to help one another. It seems the only time that this country is not Democrats, Republicans, rich, or poor we are only the citizens of this great United States that is currently stumbling and needs everyone's help to get Her back on her feet. Everytime there is devastation from a hurrican, tornado, widespread flooding, we all pull together to help. When the dreeded day of 9/11 happened, as soon as everyone came out of their shockened state we helped. These are the times when I feel the most pride for my country, these are the times that I truly feel blessed to be able to say that I am an American citizen.
2 people like this
@anniepa (27240)
• United States
27 Jul 08
You mentioned some of the things I've also been thinking about. People can say until they're blue in the fact that we liberated the Iraqi people from a ruthless dictator and that he'd killed thousands but, as you said, if that was the real reason there are plenty of other places we'd have also invaded long ago. Unfortunately, much as I wish we could, we can NOT take over every other nation and "free" their people. I didn't mean I wish we could "take over" other nations but I wish we could help everyone that needs help but we sure can't do that, we're not willing or able to help everyone in our own country that needs it. I remember so well on 9/11 when there was a call for blood donations. I had my radio on a local news stations as I delivered mail that day and within an hour or so they had to turn people away at the local centers, there were so many there to donate blood. After Katrina one of our local factories in my hometown set up bins for people to donate bottled water and blankets and they used several of their tractor trailer trucks to take them down to the hurricane victims. There are many other examples like these and I know the same things happen everywhere in this country. I heard a bunch of donated items were sent to Iowa after their recent floods from New Orleans. I'm very proud that Americans - American people, not the American government - are always willing to give and to give BACK! Annie
@ZephyrSun (7385)
• United States
27 Jul 08
I guess now I know why I like your discussions, because you are the mail person! LOL My children have always loved our mail lady, I don't know how she was able to get her area done since my middle child would take to her for a long time almost every day. Then it started with the youngest, but now we have moved and our mailcarriers here are not very friendly and I don't even know our carrier's name. He probably hates our house because some days we have so much mail he has to pile it up in on our enclosed porch. Ok so back to the whole government thing, our government gives the citizens of this nation a bad image in the eyes of the rest of the world by its actions. That probably sums it up best.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27240)
• United States
29 Jul 08
In defense of my former co-workers I have to say things have changed so much in the Postal Service it's really sad. Your current carrier may very well not be friendly but then again it could be the case of being put under so much pressure to get done faster, faster, FASTER that there isn't time to build relationships with our customers which I always enjoyed doing. To me it was all part of delivering good service and good public relations, which really doesn't matter to the postal management anymore. Annie
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
27 Jul 08
I am proud that in America I can be what I want to be. I can own my own home, I can own recreation land, I can own my own business, and there is no limit to what I can own. These are nice things but what makes the US a truly great to be proud of is the fact that when someone is in trouble any where in the world who is there. The US. We are willing to put all things aside to help friend and enemy in time of need. Look at Japan and Germany totally defeated and beaten down after WWII. What did we do we help rebuild them into a strong nation again (not a military force but an economic force). We have problems with Mexico and the border, but let a hurricane or earth quake hit them and who is among the first to help - the US. When you think of war and soldiers many people think of the killing and violence. The American GI is known for the candy they give children. What other country can go to war and they treat the defeated enemy like a friend when it is over? Yes I am very proud of my country and consider it my patriotic duty to support and defend it ax best as I can.
2 people like this
@anniepa (27240)
• United States
29 Jul 08
Thanks for a very thoughtful response. I'm also proud of those things you mentioned and it's so true what you said about our soldiers. I only hope we can get our country back to where everyone can bee what they want to be and own what they want to own because in that sense we're not the same country as we were back when my parents were young or even when I was young. Annie
@dloveli (4369)
• United States
27 Jul 08
From a personal standpoint I am proud to be a U.S. citizen because I am able to make decisions freely. We have the ability to purchase anything we want as long as we have the finances to do so. My children are allowed to be who they want to be without racial interference. In America I am judged (by most) for my integrity and my loyalty. I have a good friend and she is originally from South Africa. She and her husband work very hard. They are not rich by any means as far as money or stuff is concerned. She has five children. She is forced to take hand-me-downs and shop at thrift stores but she is proud of it. These things are luxuries to her. Where she is from there is so much fighting, hunger, and general sadness. She appreciates everything that is given to her. Her children are the same. I am proud that I can share this story with you and voice my opinions because of freedom of speech. Most of all, I am proud of the fact that as a country, no matter what we, seem to pull together in times of dispair. I am proud to have the freedom to respond to this discussion , positively or negatively, and know that my views are respected not liable to get me killed if my country didnt agree. Lastly I am proud to have the ability to make friends at my discretion both on-line and off no matter race, creed, or color. dl
2 people like this
• United States
27 Jul 08
I am proud of our men and women that protect our country and lay their life on the line every day to protect us and our rights. I am proud of the fact that no matter how badly we are treated by another country, when they are in need, the US are the first to offer help. We live in a great country and I believe that most people in this world realize this. Otherwise, we wouldn't have as many illegals in our country. They are wanting to be a part of our great nation as well.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
27 Jul 08
I think Winston Churchill said you measure the greatness of a Country not by the people who come from there but by the people who want to get in to it.
@xfahctor (14128)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
30 Jul 08
EXCELENT post annie, nice work again. I am a proud patriot. I am proud that we have a population who is willing to volunarily put their lives on the line to defend this country and all it offers. I am proud of the unique system we run. I am proud of the fact that the average joe can serve in government on a local, state or federal level. I am proud of all we try to do to make the world a better place, even when that effort leads to mistakes or is not apreciated. I am proud of the aid workers I saw handing oout crates of aid suplies to people wearing bin-laden t-shirts after the indian ocean tsunami. I live in northern new england, a beautiful and breath taking scenic area, I am proud of the scenery that I walk out my door every morning and am priviliged to live in. I am proud that I can think, pray, speak, write, and feel exactly as I want to no matter how repulsive it is to another. I made this very point in a few other threads, but I feel it is important enough to reiterate here. It is said thatif you want other's to like you, you must first like and respect yourself. How we are viewed in the world does in fact depend greatly on how we view ourselves. This is why it irks and nausiates me to no extreme when I see hollywood or public officials, especialy when they are abroad, talking about this country like it was a war mongering, environment wrecking, and brutaly vicious opressive 3rd world nation. If this is what the world is hearing, and they are, this is what they will think. This, believe it or not, has a great effect on what the world see's us as. Just something to think about it. ~A fiercly proud and patriotic American.
@Smith2028 (797)
• United States
28 Jul 08
To me it is simple. I love the USA because it truly is a land of hope and opportunity. It is a place where dreams come true. A shining city on a hill, a beacon of hope in a dark world. The USA is a land that welcomes all, gives what it can, and expects little in return. True Patriotism is the willingness to give everything you have for your country. This doesn't mean you have to serve in the armed forces, but that is one way. Patriotism is believing that your country is the best out there, not meaning that you have to agree that you are always right, but that your country always tries to do the right thing. The USA was founded in the hope that it would offer a place for people to come and to be able to practice their lifestyle without oppression. A few short years later, the USA dominates the globe...proof that what we believe works. The only thing I expect from my countrymen and women is to do their part and to not take for granted the freedoms that we are given. Live each day like the eyes of the children across the globe are focused on you and you alone and show them what their life could be. Not just if they come here, but if they rise up, work hard, and try to make a difference.
@Hatley (164447)
• Garden Grove, California
27 Jul 08
hi anniepa I am also p roud of my country and my flag.I am proud of Amereica being free still, inspiteof lots of things that have happened that make me question some of our politicians I am still proud of us as a country . we have done a lot of things right, we havemade tremdous strides in the medical field, we have many researchers who have made great inroads on diabetes, and cancer and other diseases.I as a diabetic am glad I live in the United States where we have more information on Diabetes and how to stay healthy though being a diabetica than any other country. We have new and good medications coming out all the time for diabetes and cancer and a number of other diseases. I am also proud of my fellow americans for all that they have accomplished, and of our service men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting their country.