There have been a number of news stories lately that really makes me wonder how we reached this point as a nation patriotism – love of the nation – has been lost. In today’s headlines, a woman in Virginia was arrested for ties to ISIS. According to the various news sources, she comes from a middle class background and has had all the benefits of being a citizen of the United States. Within the last week, there were stories of how CNN News ran a warning before they broadcast the Star Spangled Banner, the national anthem of the United States. Recently the Ninth Judicial Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision claiming that the U.S. flag/U.S. flag apparel could be deemed illegal and offensive by public schools, especially on Cinco de Mayo, a commercial “holiday” not even observed in Mexico. There are literally hundreds of other examples that could be listed, but the common theme that connects each of them is there is disdain for the nation by its own citizenry and national leaders.
Every one of us is a product of our upbringing. Whether we care to admit it or not, we are who we are because of our family, the things we were exposed to, the experiences we lived through, and the people we associated with while growing up. For many people, they lived in the same city their entire childhood, and besides a move within the county or across town, never left the area. They grew up with the same friends each school year, they married a person they had known for most of their life, and even now, still know where most of their friends from their youth are. I am an Army brat and that is not the life I lived. For me, that kind of life sounds foreign to me. It is a life that I am unfamiliar with and a life I find hard to understand. Try as I might, I simply do not have the common, shared experiences and benefits of being from the hometown crowd. Anyone who was a military brat understands exactly what I mean.