VFW Post #280

2013 Patriot's Pen Recipient

Marissa Kraus, age 11, Columbia

I gazed at the red, white, and blue American flag that swayed in the wind. I listened to the country's song that hung in the air, like a cloud hovering over the land. As I was absorbing my surroundings I thought of America. Or in other words, what patriotism means to me. The Memorial Day Parade is a parade that lets Columbia recognize those who fight for our freedom. That's where our town shows our patriotism.

Every year my family gets to celebrate what we call "Gotcha Day". This was when I was brought to America from Guatemala. Gotcha Day is extremely important to me because I wouldn't get the same opportunities in Guatemala as I have had in America. I wouldn't have been educated as well, or been able to participate in sports. This is a big part of who I am. I addition I wouldn't have had the same support from my family. For me, this is a very important open way of describing what patriotism means to me. I show my patriotism everyday for these reasons and many more. One way I show my patriotism is when I put my right hand over my heart and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. I'm proud to be an American.

"The Soldier is the Army. No army is better than its soldiers. The soldier is also a citizen. In fact, the highest obligation and priviledge of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one's country", Army Officer George S. Patton, Jr. once said. I think the military is a very important part of patriotism. Many soldiers fight for our countries freedom. They risk their own lives to serve and protect our country. This is a sign of patriotism because without all the soldiers, officers, and generals, we would not be where we are today.

The definition of Patriotism is this: "devoted love, support, and defense of one's country". I love and support my country as do a great many Americans. On the Fourth of July, we shoot fireworks in celebration and appreciation of our freedom. At the Memorial Parade, Columbia remembers those who have fought. As you look around there are signs everywhere that show patriotism. All of this is what patriotism means to me.