The Grand Lodge Americanism Committee has picked “What Patriotism Means to Me” as the topic for the student essays this year for Grand Lodge awards. We have begun distributing the essay materials to school children, and it gave me opportunity to think about the concept and try to convey that idea to them. Patriotism or national pride is the feeling of love, devotion and a sense of attachment to a homeland and alliance with other citizens who share the same sentiment. This attachment can be a combination of many different feelings related to one’s own homeland, including ethnic, cultural, political or historical aspects. Patriotism is the quality of being patriotic; devotion to and vigorous support of one’s country. American patriotism is patriotism including cultural attachments to the United States of America. Identified as related to American nationalism, despite many diverse ethnic backgrounds in the United States, pride in the American way of life is common amongst all of the citizens. The U.S. constitution is at the center of this national pride. Patriotism is cultural attachment to one’s homeland or devotion to one’s country. Patriotism is not just laying life for one’s country, hoisting its flag or singing national songs. It is much more than that. A citizen
who pays his taxes honestly, who refuses to pay bribes, who upholds the ideals of his country is patriotic. A teacher who fulfills his or her duty to teach to the best of abilities, a doctor who treats the patients with full devotion is patriotic. No doubt, a soldier laying life for his country is patriotic. Each person has a different role to play and each role is important to the county.
As we watch the events of this election cycle unfold, it is important that we remember that above all we are Americans. Our backgrounds may be diverse, but our national unity should not. Especially as Elks, we respect the American way of life, and we revere the U.S. Constitution. In fact, in the obligation administered by the Exalted Ruler, we specifically pledge to uphold and defend it.
May our unwavering spirit of patriotism lead us to be the best Americans we can. In closing, I encourage all members to do their Patriotic Duty and VOTE on November 3rd.