I had a conversation recently where someone was trying to convince me that we needed to eliminate the playing of the National Anthem before sporting events.  I tend to like the act and think it is a good thing.  To be honest, I’ve never really given it a second thought.  Regardless, I don’t believe it is a bad thing for when many Americans are gathered together to take a few moments to be reminded that freedom isn’t free.  Regardless, I don’t guess I care too much one way or the other.  Their reasoning made sense.  Interesting conversation but I must admit it stuck with me after the fact a bit.

In the grand scheme of things, this is not a huge issue.  Regardless, the discussion did set me thinking about the opposing argument and other related topics.  In the discussion, I did tend to lean the other way (we should want the National Anthem).  Generally, I’d say my opposing argument would be ‘if you live here you should love your country and the people who have made it what it is today’.  Listening to the National Anthem and remembering that should be something you want to do…love to do.  End of story.

I don’t spend much energy at all on political topics.  I don’t care too much about current events or drama created by people in everyday life.  I’m a Libertarian who generally believes everything will work out, good always eventually wins over evil, and everyone should be free to live their life.

That said, I do 100% love our country.  Some of the things we do make me downright angry.  Of course, not everything we do is just and right.  Not everyone who lives and works here is ethical and honest.  Not everything that America does is perfect.  I’m not sure any other country is either, however.  I was born here so there is a great deal of home country bias in my opinion I’m sure.  But, honestly, if I look around with an objective eye the US is not a bad country.  As the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave’ the good that America offers FAR outweighs the bad.  As with any successful relationship you have to take the good with the bad and be willing to compromise.  I can do this with my country and still support it fully.

My favorite type of movie is a good war movie.  I love these types of movies because most are true stories of some of the most heroic actions ever performed by humans.  Granted some wars are fought over things that are not ‘war worthy’ and just resulted in unnecessary loss of human life.  Many wars, however, were turning points that were opportunities to completely rewrite human history depending on the result.  The stories of individuals and teams navigating these times are some of the most amazing stories I’ve ever heard humans achieve/endure.  I know myself well enough to seriously doubt if I could ever push myself through situations like this.  I have enormous respect for people who can do this (and chose to do this).  We all should.  Unwavering respect and support.  It is the absolute least we can do for their service/sacrifice.  We should seek out their stories, retell their stories, and honor their service regularly.  These people’s sacrifice is the reason we can exist in our comfortable lives. 

This video contains a letter from a soldier that does a very decent job of explaining why these people are heroes and why they should be honored without question.  I believe it is a conservative leaning organization that is sharing it (that is not the point so disregard that).  It conversely outlines how some people we consider to be heroes today are not heroes at all.  I’m worried less about that aspect of it.  People are free to use their platform to advocate for change they deem important (because America!).  I’m not advocating for a boycott of the NFL (could care less about that honestly).  The video just happens to capture the message of what a hero is very well (in a timely fashion).  I think we throw the word hero around much too loosely in our society these days.  As we approach the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks tomorrow I think this video is a great reminder of what a hero is.

If listening to the National Anthem enrages you…

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,

What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,

Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,

O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?

And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;

O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

If listening to America The Beautiful leaves you emotionless…

O beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain!

America! America!

God shed His grace on thee

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,

Whose stern, impassioned stress

A thoroughfare for freedom beat

Across the wilderness!

America! America!

God mend thine every flaw,

Confirm thy soul in self-control,

Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved

In liberating strife,

Who more than self their country loved

And mercy more than life!

America! America!

May God thy gold refine,

Till all success be nobleness,

And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream

That sees beyond the years

Thine alabaster cities gleam

Undimmed by human tears!

America! America!

God shed His grace on thee

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!

If reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is not something you believe is important for all Americans to do…

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

That is a problem!  Many people have sacrificed (some making the ultimate sacrifice) so that you may live the life you live today.  If you have no connection to the country that provides that opportunity for you then that is a problem.  If you are not willing to sacrifice (even die) to ensure America remains for future generations that is a problem.  Okay, death is a bit harsh.  But at a minimum, if you are not willing to show respect for our country and the people who have lived (and died) to make it what it is today that is a problem.  If you do not truly love the country you live in and believe it is the best version of its kind that is a problem.  It isn’t America’s problem either; it is your problem.

To love your country does not mean you have to agree with everything.  It does not mean that everything we do (or have done) is perfect.  It doesn’t mean that you can’t try to affect change to make it better.  But if you live here you must love the country and go about your efforts with that love as a guiding principle.  If you can’t do that then you really should take personal responsibility for this and find a country where you can go about your life in this manner.  We all have to be pulling in the same direction.  If not, it just won’t work!

I’ve come to realize (re-realize?!?) that I think the answer is ‘yes’ we should all love America.  All of us, each and every day!  We may not all agree on everything but I think we must agree on that.



Published by deanorolls

Well, if I told you that you wouldn't need to go to my website...now would you?!?!

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  1. Great read and made me even more aware there are those out there who love our country more then their opinion. That is how I find those who want to destroy our heritage, they want to lift up theirs by trashing ours. We are the only country usually risk their lives to get into and stay when they get here. We had a friend from Africa who came, went to school here to learn so he could go back and open schools in his country. makes me wonder why. Again, good read.


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