by Kelly Collins
I know the Fourth is over and done, However, I want to say something. The fourth of July spirit should infuse us every day of our lives.
You don't have to be a war hero, or even a veteran to be patriotic. Though the sacrifices of our military are heroic and patriotic and have been since our revolutionary war.
To me there are many kinds and degrees of patriotism, not all of them are good. Even good things taken to extremes can be dangerous. To me the individuals who blindly follow without questioning, are dangerous. The men of Lt. Calley's platoon are an example. Those that made it seem unpatriotic to question our government led us into the McCarthy era.
Now we have an act that is proving to be unconstitutional. However there are those that are making it seem unpatriotic not to support the Patriots Act. Even though parts have already been declared unconstitutional and other parts are waiting for test cases to come to trial.
You need not get up at dawn and raise a flag on your front lawn to be a patriot. If you vote your conscience each election; if you stand up for your rights and the rights of others when they are infringed upon; and if you ever worked for a candidate of your choice; that too is patriotism. The list is to long to place here of all the things patriots would or would not do.
One thing that I do know that a true patriot would do is this: Whether or not you agree with the Iraq policies and the war, support your men and women that are there. This is not like Viet Nam which was never declared. This is a fully legal operation and the men and women that went there to fight do so under legal orders. They are patriots. They deserve our gratitude and support even if we don't agree with why they are there.
If you don't agree with the Iraq policies then it is your duty as a patriot, and a citizen to work for change in that policy.
That is what the spirit of the fourth is all about. The original fourth and subsequent events gave us those rights and responsibilities. The actions of our military at the governments direction has put our men and women at risk many times since then to preserve this country and its allies. All this to ensure our freedoms and rights and to give us the right to voice our opinions about any function of the government. It is not unpatriotic to stand and voice your opinion or to work for changes that you feel are right. It is definitely patriotic to do so.
Tongue in Cheek.
The Fourth of July is like Christmas, We should keep that spirit all year around. So I say to you “May the Fourth be with you.”
Boise City News, P.O. Box 278