Student Essay:
The Virtue of Patriotism

By Christian Di Spigna

Love of country is not just a preference, but a powerful motive to achieve great things.

Patriotism is defined as the love of one’s country. However, it is much more than that. Patriotism is a virtue. Patriotic citizens demonstrate pride and adoration for their country. They strive to protect and improve our nation. That is why we respect and revere those who serve our country in the military: they are putting their homeland’s needs before their own. They support and defend the citizenry, even if it means putting themselves in danger. Other ways people demonstrate patriotism are by following their country’s laws, paying taxes, voting, reciting pledges of allegiance, and singing national songs. Patriotism is an intrinsic feeling of adoration for one’s country and its citizens.

There is no greater patriotism than American patriotism. Our Founding Fathers were heavily influenced by Judeo-Christian beliefs, which were used as the cornerstone of our great nation. This is most evident in the Bill of Rights, as many of its ideas are taken from the Bible, such as the need for two witnesses, the sanctity of contracts, and God-given human rights. Because our country was founded on these beliefs, our country has been the freest, most powerful, and most economically sound country for the last two hundred and fifty years. No other country has allowed its citizens the full range of rights that America has; in many countries, people do not have freedom of speech, freedom of the press, or freedom of religion. While ordinary patriotism is supporting and adoring one’s country, American patriotism takes it a step further by supporting liberty for all. This is all thanks to the Founding Fathers, who sacrificed their time, their energy, and in some cases their lives, to “form a more perfect union”.

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning ...

So why is devotion to one’s country important? There are several reasons. A country that demonstrates patriotism tends to prosper; if the country lacks patriotism, then the citizens may rebel, dismiss the laws, and otherwise not stand united. All of this would make it hard for a country to succeed. However, American patriotism is unique. As far back as the birth of our nation, one can see American’s patriotic virtue, and what it stands for: the rights of the people, a direct say in government, and liberty. When people support America, they support these principles, despite differing opinions and feelings. This sets American patriotism apart from other forms of patriotism.

Our nation has survived wars, depressions, natural disasters, and internal and external strife. Foundationally, we are sure-footed in our belief in American democracy. One of the moments when our patriotism shone at its brightest followed the attack on Pearl Harbor. Undaunted by Axis aggression, hundreds of thousands of men joined the military, volunteering to put themselves in harm’s way to defend our great nation, aid our allies, and fight against the atrocities of the enemy. Additionally, many civilians actively supported America. Citizens donated money and supplies, rationed food, and encouraged family members and friends to enlist. Political opponents of President Franklin Roosevelt, such as Wendell Wilkie (his rival in the previous election), agreed to display their patriotism by supporting the American war effort. The undertakings of the whole country eventually led to Allied victory and the United States’ establishment as one of the most powerful nations of the world. This shows what a nation working patriotically for a common cause can achieve.

There is always hope that American patriotism will prosper for future generations. As long as there is American patriotism, our country will continue to thrive, and freedom will continue to flourish. Therefore, patriotism (especially American patriotism) is one of the finest virtues in the world.

Christian Di Spigna is a 16-year-old homeschooler living in Pittsford, NY. Christian enjoys karate, geocaching, and playing soccer, and likes to study math, science, and economics. He is in the process of selecting a college and major.

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