During these troubled times I find it fitting to write about patriotism.
The dictionary says that one who loves and is loyal to their country and does so with zealous support is a patriot. We automatically think of those who serve or have served courageously in our military with a sense of pride defending our country as patriotic. Let’s expand on the subject of patriotism.
One can be a patriot without serving in the military as were some of our founding forefathers. Some were both military and statesmen while others were focused statesmen. With their infinite wisdom they created the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. They weren’t just statesmen, but courageous patriots. They aimed high formulating their noble endeavors and founded a great new nation.
Let’s go back in history to the first American patriots. Most well known were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Paine, John Hancock, Nathan Hale, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere and John Paul Jones, to name a few.
General George Washington was our first president. Paul Revere was a rider for the “Committee of Correspondence” who relayed messages about British troop movements, “The British are coming!” He was a great horseman.
Nathan Hale was captured and executed by the British and before being hung he stated, “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”
Patrick Henry, a statesman/patriot in the mid-1700s, said, “Give me liberty or give me death.” John Paul Jones stated, “I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast for I intend to go in harm’s way.”
During the Revolutionary War he captained the ship Bonhomme Richard, named in honor of Ben Franklin’s “Poor Richard’s Almanac.” He was the father of the U.S. Navy. Motivated by unfair British rule, these gentlemen, loaded with passion, much thought and a lot of common sense, took a stand.
During WWII most men were in the military and off to war. Older men and many women worked in the aircraft plants (Rosie the Riveter), shipyards and armament factories. In addition, women manned the WASP effort (Women Airforce Service Pilots). Over 25,000 ladies applied and only a little over 1,000 were deemed qualified and accepted into the program. Their flight testing and ferrying both fighter and bomber aircraft duties freed up male pilots for combat duty.
All military and civilian Americans contributed to the war effort in some way. In just four years the U.S. and allies defeated Germany and Japan … it was probably our finest hour. Subsequent wars and police actions necessitated the same efforts. That was and still is true patriotism by all Americans.
With the help of the Lord and the Good Book, we need to renew our interest and efforts emphasizing the Constitution and patriotism. Our servicemen who fell in battle in years past deserve it. Our country needs true patriots during these troubled times. God bless America!
Nick Chiechi is The Courier's St. Marie correspondent.