Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46By YM/GySgt Carson George Orlando Devil Dogs (FL) America has always been a country considered “The Great Melting Pot” of the world, where many different kinds of people hailing from all nationalities unite under one banner and are proud to call themselves Americans. Though our great nation has been chal- lenged by internal strife, such as it was during the Whiskey Rebellion, the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement, and re- cent challenges, our nation has always bonded in the fires of conflict and our people have risen to do truly amazing things out of the patriotism for their country harbored in their hearts. An example of this was when the moth- ers of Confederate soldiers, would clear the graves of Union soldiers buried in the south, as well as those of their own sons. Individuals have also risen to the oc- casion and demonstrated the true value of patriotism as an American value, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., who shunned violent protests and supported all peo- ple’s rights. He peacefully brought about change, making America more connect- ed as a whole through the patriotic val- ues he demonstrated. Patriotism is not only bred through en- during conflict. Organizations such as the Peace Corps demonstrate American patriotism, and our concern for the well- being of global society in helping citi- zens of the world. Patriotism as an American value can be traced back to the founding of our na- tion. During the First Continental Con- gress in 1774, Patrick Henry exclaimed, “The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and New Englanders are no more. I am not a Vir- ginian, but an American.” This quote em- bodies what American patriotism truly is, unity. Children recite the Pledge of Alle- giance in schools every morning, say- ing “I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America...”, all across the country. Nowhere else can you find such a strong sense of national identity, that the citizens recommit to it with an oath every morning. Nowhere else will you find people who, no matter what country their family is from, will proudly claim “I am an American” wherever they may go. Nowhere else will you find a nation where whole stadiums and parade grounds of people will rise, remove their covers and caps, put their hand over their heart, and show respect and undy- ing support for poems and songs that predate their own existence. Nowhere else will you find patriotism as strong and as bonding as you will in America. Fifty states, three-hundred and twenty three million people, countless ethnic groups, yet there is one flag, one anthem, and one code of ethics for them all. America is a nation that has long thrived on patriotism as a core civic value, on the principle of loving your neighbor as you would love yourself, not because they’re your ethnicity, or they speak your language, but because they’re an American, and hold the same creed, same colors, same patriotism as close to their heart as you do. It starts with a signature and an oath: a pledge to serve our country and pro- tect our freedoms at any cost. For some, this commitment leads to the ultimate sacrifice.On Memorial Day,we remember the men and the women who have giv- en everything in their service, honoring their lives and their inspiring legacies. Their signature meant commitment, loy- alty, courage, and the ultimate sacrifice for their country, for their selflessness, our freedom, we honor them. General George S.Patton said,“It is fool- ish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” Memorial Day should remind Americans of these sacrifices. But sometimes, I think nobody is pay- ing attention. People enjoy the three-day weekend, eating cheeseburgers, going to the lake, and (my favorite...) Memorial Day sales. They don’t go to the ceremonies and the events that honor veterans. President Calvin Coolidge said,“A nation that forgets its heroes will itself soon be forgotten.” So I ask you, who are your heroes? My heroes are men like Duane Dewey, a Marine who fought in Korea and who saved the lives of his corpsmen and his squad and received the Medal of Honor. My heroes are the men and wom- en who made the ultimate sacrifice; sons and daughters who paid the full price, mothers and fathers who gave their sons and daughters. Those are my heroes. So now I say, we will not forget those who died.We will not forget those who do the hard work of freedom every day. And we will never forget the POW’s and the MIA’s yet to be accounted for. A year from now, and even 100 years from now,we will not forget. There’s a poem the honor guards (the Third Infantry who guard the Tomb of the Unknowns) learn that says it all: ``You are guarding the world’s most pre- cious gifts. You, you alone, are the sym- bol of 250 million people who wish to show their gratitude. And you will march through the rain, the snow, and the heat to prove it.’’’ --Submitted by David D. Sweany, Executive Officer, North Knoxville (TN) Young Marines An Essay: Memorial Day, A Day For Remembrance Patriotism: The Core of American Citizenship Nowhere else will you find patriotism as strong and as bonding as you will in America. E s s a y s ESPRIT ONLINE | Page 27