Essay on Patriotism, By John F. Kennedy

Essay on Patriotism, By John F. Kennedy

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“Ask not what your country can do for you; but what you can do for your country,” is a famous quote by John F. Kennedy. When I hear this quote it makes me think of patriotism, but then again, it makes me think what does patriotism really mean? Have you ever really thought about it? People through the ages have carried out both horrible and wonderful acts under the word of patriotism. So, how are we to define it then? The concept of patriotism is just as debated and relevant today as it was during the Civil War. If our nation is to survive its current challenges, the definition of a true patriot must be clear. The dictionary definition of patriotism is “the love or devotion for one’s country” (Patriotism). To other people, patriotism is the loyalty to the nation. To others, it carries with its expectations that the government will give something in return. Women experience it different than men and vice versa. Also, different racial groups have experienced it differently. For example, some researches find that older people, white people, conservative republicans, and rural people are more likely to call themselves highly patriotic; African Americans, liberals, urbanites, and college graduates are slightly less likely. I believe that patriotism means that individuals have the motivation, ability, and commitment to help and support their nation as much as possible.
Have you ever wondered where the word patriotism originated from? According to a debate over the history of patriotism, the root of the word, patriot, was first introduced in the Elizabethan Era and it came from the Latin word “patriota” which meant fellow countrymen (debate 1). In the early years, patriotism was heavily debated and many people seen it as loyalty the st...


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...stice. I believe that how others define it is the only true way to know what patriotism really means. Many men and women have worked to achieve the freedom and equality we have today. We should respect not only them but also what they have fought for. A way to do that is by showing your patriotism. Patriotism is in all our hearts but we have to find it first. The many definitions that we have in today’s century are all different. You must think to yourself what your true definition of patriotism means. “Patriotism demands the ability to feel shame as much as to feel pride,” a quote by Anne-Marie Slaughter. Although most people see the definition of patriotism as a good thing, it can also be shameful at the situation at hand. In conclusion, Americans know how to come together and unite for their country and show their true patriotism regardless of the circumstances.

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