An interesting phenomenon happened after the tragedy of 9-11. For a short time the country became flag wavers and very patriotic. It was really amazing to see, as I have always been a flag waver, but six months later the flags came down, the bumper stickers were peeled off, and the displays of patriotism had disappeared.
Patriotism – An Important Family Virtue
Sometimes patriotism seems like a fad whenever the country needs a unified people to boast, posting flags and patriotic quotes. Keeping thoughts of a unified country utmost in the minds of its countrymen has always been a positive force in any countries’ history and it should be in ours. Patriotism is a unifying force which shouldn’t be an inconvenience or a fad to show how our citizens are devoted to our country.
Patriotism is an important family virtue. Our children need to learn respect for the flag, respect for the veterans of past wars and what they have done for our country. They need to learn the U.S. Constitution and remember what it stands for. Our children need to remember to stand at attention when our National Anthem is played and pledge their allegiance to the flag each day at school. It is so important to pass down these attributes so that patriotism can be carried on into future generations. It’s not a matter of blindly following government regulations whether right or wrong, as past world dictators expected. It’s instilling a reverence in our children to be passed down from one generation to another in remembering the importance of our country’s history, the heroism of those who died to protect our country, and how to retire an old flag.
Teaching Our Children about Patriotism
Through books and movies, Americans are reminded of the great sacrifices our parents, grandparents and generations before have made in keeping this country free. With the help of concerned parents, all children can learn to be devoted to their country and learn the importance of patriotism.
Here are a few ideas which can help parents teach their children about patriotism:
Post a U.S. Flag: Buy a flag kit and hang it on the front of the house, and teach children to be respectful of it. The flag should never touch the ground and should always be removed when raining or at night unless there is a light on it. When the flag is being carried at parades, everyone should stand, remove any hats and place their right hand over their heart as it goes by. Discussing the respect we should have for our country’s flag can help children be more reverent of this great symbol.
Vote: The best way for children to learn about the importance of their country’s leadership is if their parent’s vote. Explain, and include children in the voting process. Discuss how important we are in choosing our national, state, and local leaders who make decisions for our country.
Be Involved in Community: Attending patriotic events and joining the Boy Scouts of America are just two ideas for instilling patriotism in children. Every year most communities have a patriotic service for Independence Day and this instills feelings of devotion and respect for our nation’s history. Make a fun day of it and children will respond. Join in singing the national anthem at ball games and other events and attend Veteran Day activities for children to meet those who fought to save our freedoms. The Boy Scouts of America is a fun way for boys to understand patriotism and learn the importance of taking care of our flags.
Instilling these patriotic ideals is an investment for the future. While some might feel patriotism is not necessary in these times, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Families need to remember the importance of our nation and its history and revere the flag. Include honoring our veterans for their sacrifice for freedom, and families can instill the importance of patriotism for years to come.