Category Archives: Patriotism
By lex, on October 6th, 2011
H.G. Wells wrote of a Victorian gentleman visiting the far and distant future, one in which society had devolved into two separate species, the Morlocks – who live and labor under the earth, keeping the world’s machinery and infrastructure intact, and the Eloi, a “child-like, frail group, living a banal life of ease on the surface of the earth..” who, “(having) solved all problems that required strength, intelligence, or virtue, have slowly become dissolute and naive. They are… smaller than modern humans, having shoulder-length curly hair, chins that ran to a point, large eyes, small ears, and small mouths with bright red thin lips. They are of sub-human intelligence, though apparently intelligent enough to speak, and they have a primitive language. They do not perform much work…”
By lex, on July 4th, 2011
My father was born in 1916, and grew up in Glen Allen, Virginia, just north of Richmond. Glen Allen has become a suburb of Richmond these days, but back then it defined rural. Dad’s father worked the railroads. Mom was born in 1920 and grew up in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania. Her old man had gone from coal miner to soldier in the Great War before coming back home again to serve as a paymaster for the company. He died in the aftermath of a train robbery that left the family destitute, and what with the Great Depression going on in their childhoods, those were hard times all around. She always kept the larder full, and my old man ate heartily. They remembered times when hunger wasn’t something that came up just prior to lunchtime, but rather something you lived with.
Right here in America.
By lex, on June 19th, 2006
Something ASM826 wrote in comments the other day, and inspired by the latest bit of insipidity set loose upon an amazed and often embarrassed world set me to thinking:
I have been thinking about this interview since I read about it a few days ago. Patriotism is not a uniquely American trait. Others have held it. It makes the most sense when there is a clash between societies and someone believes that theirs is the superior.
For example: Winston Churchill was questioned by cabinet about negotiating a settlement with Nazi Germany, and his reply was, “ if this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground.”
Not much question where he stood, eh? No matter what problems his country had, compared with the alternative he thought Britain was better. Not much question where U.S. patriots stand, either. This country is better. The things we share and believe are better. Even our problems are better.
Flying the flag, loving my country, and feeling contempt for people who can, see the obvious value of the things that I love about the United States isn, pandering. It‚Äôs my personal response, welling up out of who I am.
By lex, on December 7th, 2005
It was a long time ago, now.
But never forget:
When a West Coast ship enters Pearl Harbor, as it inevitably will either going to, or returning from a forward deployment, the ship will “man rails” on either side of the ship and “render honors” to the USS Arizona as they pass.
Sometimes an old salt will look at the young Sailors coming into the Navy and breathe a soft sigh of despair – many of them are so very different from those of us whom they will replace. But when you see them fight for a spot up on the steaming flight deck inbound to the harbor, when you see them compete with the embarked Marines for sharpness of dress and military bearing, when you see them stand at attention and present-arms with ramrod stiff postures and deadly seriousness in their eyes, you know: It’s going to be OK.
Spent thousands of days/nights in hotels over the years hauling the freight in the purple jets. Always, always dreaded the hotels packed with high school kids attending some big function.
This video redeems them all. There is hope that our next generation gets it.
Warning: you might mist up just a little bit.