Love for the stars and stripes


By Maddie Pulliam, Staff Reporter

I see older men and women sing the National Anthem with pride and affection at sporting events and parades. With tears in their eyes, they become choked up at the sound of the first notes through the speakers. I want my generation to feel that same sense of pride. 

When GMS asks people to rise for the pledge in the morning, some students decide to stay seated. Others see this as a chore. According to a 2021 Newsweek poll, 84% of the Baby Boomers are “proud to be American,” compared to a mere 58% of Gen Z-ers. This gap should be closed. How can we close this gap? By being more patriotic.

Patriotism is the demonstration of honor, respect and a deep love and devotion for the goals of our nation. It does not mean to agree with every decision the government makes, but to fight for and build upon the idea this country was founded on: freedom.

In America, we have liberties such as the freedom of speech, freedom of religion and our democratic voting rights and processes. These freedoms have helped improve the nation throughout its history and are reasons for which people are drawn to this country. For example, Americans have used their freedom of speech in movements for equality like Women’s Suffrage and civil rights to bring injustices to light and resolve them, resulting in a stronger nation.

Patriotism brings citizens together through shared love of the country. In the past, when  tragedies happened, Americans rose above and worked together. During 9/11, a national sense of patriotism helped the nation recover from the event by rallying together and supporting one another during this devastation. Our parents watched Americans put their lives on the line in a time of utter chaos and terror by running into burning buildings to save fellow Americans. As a result, these patriotic citizens built a community of hope and support for New York city and defended their country from further destruction.

Yes, there have been many atrocities in our country’s history, such as slavery, Japanese internment camps during WWII and Women’s Suffrage, but when American citizens came together and fought for their rights, they improved this country and made it a better place. For example, George Takei was a man who was put into the Japanese internment camps during WWII. He took this adversity as a chance to make America an even truer democracy. Takei patriotically spoke in a TED talk about how he turned his resentment into a dedication to serve his country.

Americans will feel more gracious and patriotic if they stand for the flag, salute our veterans and sing the National Anthem. Patriotism should have nothing to do with political views or political parties; it should be an emotion of love and support that all Americans feel deeply. We the people of the United States of America must show our respect and patriotism for the country we live in!

Maddie can be reached at [email protected]