Herald-Mail Forums

July 09, 2007

Last week's question:

Wednesday, July 4, was Independence Day, a holiday on which we remember the sacrifices made for our freedom. What's the most patriotic act you've ever witnessed?

I thought about this question for awhile and I have never personally seen anyone do anything patriotic. I have seen many selfless and generous things but never anything patriotic. And I served in the military for four years. Very depressing.

Don't know if this would be considered "patriotic," but the action was driven by an old woman's love for her country. My grandmother died almost 12 years ago, but before she died (she was sick for quite some time leading up to this and never really felt like going out) she made my grandfather get the car and she got herself dressed and went out to vote.


It was something that really stuck with me - that she felt that being a part of the government was so important that you went and voted, no matter how badly you felt or how weak you were. I never miss a vote.

My brother survived WWII with the Air Force. Like most vets from that era, in these many years, he never expected praise nor has he exploited what he had been through. He knew when he signed up what he might expect and carried out his mission accordingly.

In Vietnam in 1969 I saw many patriotic acts and many heroes, too. I once saw a soldier give his life to rescue the American flag during a firefight. He did not allow the flag to touch enemy soil.

I don't think anyone sees random acts of patriotism anymore, but the last time I was proud of my community, state and nation was during the weeks following Sept. 11, 2001. Every United States citizen showed how much they loved their country. It's a shame it's not like that every day ... the world would be a better place!

A "patriot" is someone who loves his country and zealously supports its authority and interests. Based on the definition of patriot, it would be difficult to top President Kennedy's actions to get the Russian missiles out of Cuba in 1962.

I can't come up with a real authentic recent act. However, having said that, I would not have to go back too far to come up with a couple of very impressive ones. The people on Flight 97 on Sept. 11, 2001, who took out a plane full of terrorists. When they found out where they were heading, they took action! The firefighters and EMTs who ran to the Twin Towers and not away; these were certainly patriots of my time.

Not only these guys, but every young person who joins our present-day military to protect us. These folks are also patriots. They are not bound by any present-day law. They do it because they care.

While waiting in Outback (forever) for a table, I saw a gentleman and his wife give up the table they were just given to a young man in uniform who had just walked in. The couple shook his hand and put their name back on the waiting list.

May 1, 2003. Our greatest president, landing on that aircraft carrier, marching up to that podium, and telling the whole world that major combat operations in Iraq are completed. A great Christian man that loves his country. For that day and speech he should be remembered with FDR and "nothing to fear but fear itself" and JFK and "ask not what your country can do for you..."

I think James Warner, the guy in Bob Maginnis' July 4 piece comes as close to a patriot as anyone I've heard of or witnessed in a long time. That is quite a story. Outstanding, really.

My fifth-grade teacher had us sing the National Anthem every day after we said the Pledge of Allegiance (in Martinsburg, W.Va.) She made us learn all the words.

I think that story of the couple giving up their place to the young soldier best fits the idea of this poll. The gentleman, his wife, and the soldier should have all gotten free meals from Outback. That is the spirit of patriotism and respect that I would like to witness.

A 17-year old kid signing up to join the Marine Corps. Semper Fidelis, brother!

I read the column from July 4 by the editorial page editor. By his use of quotes, he implies he attended the Republican Club function to hear a POW talk. Interesting. In the past, that same editor has proclaimed himself a lifelong Democrat. Ask any active Democrat in the county if they have seen him at any Democrat functions. The answer will be zero. Yet you can say in open forum what a liberal paper we have. Your bias is as narrow as the editor who silences you.

I saw that too, and as a Republican went hmmmm... why would he be there? I think honestly the newspaper gets a pretty equal amount of criticisms as being "too liberal" or "too conservative." Generally speaking, it is my observation in leadership, when the arrows sticking out of me on both sides are about the same number, I figure I must be hitting down the middle fairly well.

(Editor's note: I attended the Republican Club event because I was invited to do so - Bob Maginnis).

This week's question:

The Herald-Mail recently asked West Virginia lawmakers what question they would ask President Bush if they had the chance. If you had such a chance - and couldn't do it anonymously -what would you ask him?

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