What Does Patriotism Mean to Me?

An award-winning essay written in 2006

By Delaney Bates (age 11)

“What does Patriotism mean to me?” Patriotism means many things. The following are three things that come to my mind when I think of patriotism. I believe we support the men and women in the military, my great-grandfather, and trust in God are three parts of what patriotism means to me. Patriotism is when good people fight for what is right. “Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.” - Thomas Jefferson

The first thing we should do is give support to the men and women in the military. I believe the military helps keep our country free, equal, and strong. I also believe sending care packages, letters, and prayers are great ways to support our military.

My grand-grandfather’s life is an example of great patriotism. He was a fighter pilot in World War II. In one of his last letters to my great-grandmother, he wrote, “I know I can go into combat unafraid because I’ve made my peace with God. I know that what I’m fighting for is right and decent, so I will be able
(I pray), to do my job properly and with a conviction that it’s the right thing.” Sadly, his plane was shot down 12 days before the end of the War. He bravely died
fighting for us on April 13, 1945. He was only 22-years old. He is a positive influence for everyone. He showed courage, conviction, and a love for his country. He is a true Hero.

My last thought is trust in God. It is a way to show loyalty to one’s country. To go to church, rely on God, and to spread the Word of God are three things everyone should do to support our country and be patriotic. We should try to follow Christ’s footsteps every day of our lives. We should always remember our country’s motto is, “In God we Trust.”

So, as you see, patriotism is very important to me and has many meanings. You can be patriotic by supporting our troops, reflecting on people you have lost protecting our freedom (like my great-grandfather), and trusting in God. Those are my three ideas about what patriotism means. I believe the United States is a really excellent and great country. I am so glad to be patriotic. “Give me liberty or give me death.” - Patrick Henry

“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.”