Among some of our community members we do not see the kind of patriotism that once brought us all to our feet as we listen to the national anthem or recite the Pledge of Allegiance. There are debates as to whether we should remove the words “under God” from the pledge. Service in our military has become more of a job rather than a solemn duty of patriots. Such were the thoughts of many who attended the Sons of the Utah Pioneers’ monthly meeting held on Oct. 21.
Dan Polad caused us all to think deeply about our feelings relative to our country. Do we still feel stirrings down deep in our souls as the flag is raised? Or when an injured or deceased veteran is carried from the airplanes bringing them home from battle? Do we still feel a sense of love and care for the widow/widower and children left behind when these veterans are taken?
Abraham Lincoln said, “It is for us, the living” to dedicate and consecrate our lives to the preservation of this nation. We owe it as a solemn obligation to stand every time the flag is unfurled. We must remember that 250 men went up the hill of Iwo Jima, and only 27 came down. Normandy cost the lives of thousands. Korea and Vietnam vets paid a similar cost. Our young men and women in Afghanistan are dying daily TODAY. Thousands died in Iraq.
There is still a cost to our citizenship! No matter how our feelings may have eroded away from such sentimental views, we must pay for these freedoms that we enjoy. Each child should be taught to listen carefully for the crying sounds of taps as it echoes from our military installations every night and at the funeral of every veteran. Each teenager should know the price of their freedom to dance and play their music loudly. Every young adult should understand that, as they cast that first ballot, a soldier has died to ensure this right to a free election.
For some, patriotism is a silly sentimental show. But, according to Polad, this must never be. This nation is still the land of greatest opportunity. One we should be thrilled to be a part of. One we should honor with our service.