Patriotism is not inherited

Tue, 07/03/2007 - 4:11pm
By: Letters to the ...

Contrary to what many people might think, patriotism is not inherited. It is not in our blood by birth.

Patriotism is in our heart by being taught and by observing the actions of true patriots.

It appears less and less patriotism is being taught in our schools in recent years, so it is up to us who were fortunate enough to have been taught the importance of patriotism to teach the young about patriotism and the importance of paying proper respect to our American flag.

Peachtree City as a whole is a very patriotic city. We have many military, active duty, reservist and retired families living in Peachtree City, and of course we have many veterans and families of veterans.

The city does an excellent job of putting on patriotic events each year. The attendance at this year’s Memorial Day activities was tremendous. You would be hard pressed to find a city the size of Peachtree City that has a bigger 4th of July parade. In addition Peachtree City has functions for Patriots Day and Veterans Day.

So what is the purpose of this letter? It is to instruct and educate. As active members of Peachtree City VFW Post 9949’s Color Guard, both of us were honored last year to march side-by-side carrying the colors of our nation and our post.

We were shocked at the number of people, both young and old, along the 4th of July parade route who did not show proper respect for Old Glory as it paraded by.

Perhaps with U.S. flags everywhere, on floats, on golf carts, being waved by passersby, and being handed out along the route by members of the veterans groups and others, you were confused as to when respect should be shown.

All citizens should salute the flag when it is displayed during the Pledge of Allegiance or when our National Anthem is being played and when the flag is being raised or lowered.

They should also salute when Old Glory passes in review while being carried by a color guard whether the group is a military unit, veterans group, a scouting group, etc., and when it passes covering the casket of a deceased person eligible for this high honor.

To salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart. Members of organizations in formation salute upon command of the person in charge.

Please note [that] persons who are not citizens of the USA should stand at attention because the flag is the symbol of a sovereign nation.

We know Peachtree City is a patriotic city, but unless we teach those who do not know proper flag etiquette then we are all being disrespectful not only to our flag, but to those who have served and died to give us the right and freedom to celebrate the 4th of July.

We hope you do not take this letter as criticism, but as a teaching lesson. As we said in the beginning, patriotism is not inherited. We must teach and pass on our traditions or they will eventually fade away.

Have a wonderful Independence Day and don’t forget to fly Old Glory from your home.

Lee McCoy, Post Commander

Bob Konrad, Post Quartermaster

Peachtree City VFW Post 9949

Peachtree City, Ga.

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