Patriotic? Maybe Not This Year

Somewhere, I know there is a photo of me taken at a Bicentennial parade looking patriotic in an over-the-top sort of way. I’m wearing red, white, and blue clothing and waving an American flag. My tricycle is decked out in paper streamers, and a sign is taped to the back of my seat that readsĀ  “Happy Birthday, America!” The only thing missing is a bald eagle flying above me in the sky.

I was about five years old, and the times were much simpler.

This year, I wasn’t in the mood for fireworks or singing about the land of the free. I did grill some burgers and dogs for dinner tonight, but that’s because we have to eat. And, I always appreciate a three-day weekend. But, in light of the U.S. Supreme Court rulings this past month, I’m not feeling particularly festive. I’m not going to get into politics here. But, in general, my rights as a Jewish American woman have been infringed upon. This country is supposed to be built on freedom of religion, but the line between church and state – that I count on – has been blurred beyond recognition. And it’s not a good feeling, to say the least.

But, while I’m not feeling patriotic, I am grateful. Grateful to live in a country where there is still freedom of speech so that I can say these things on my blog or in person and not fear punishment. Backlash on social media, maybe…but not punishment.

Maybe there will be something to celebrate next year, but I just can’t get there today. Maybe next year, there will be liberty and justice for all.

6 comments on Patriotic? Maybe Not This Year

  1. Alice Gerard
    July 6, 2022 at 12:05 am (7 months ago)

    As a journalist, I had to go to the Independence Day parade and take pictures and interview people, who expressed their patriotism. As a pacifist, however, I feel very little patriotism for a country that has had only 16 years of peace in its entire history. You are far from alone in not feeling patriotism.

  2. Julie JordanScott
    July 5, 2022 at 3:44 pm (7 months ago)

    I also didn’t celebrate. It makes me so sad… and yet, I couldn’t do it this year, either. Most of my friends were in the same space. Sorrowful.

  3. Maria
    July 5, 2022 at 3:27 pm (7 months ago)

    Unfortunately, I feel the same way this year. It’s very hard to be patriotic when they almost destroyed our democracy and are taking away our rights one by one. Yesterday’s fireworks displays seemed to be very forced and phony. Patriotic is how we ALL felt on September 12, 2001. Right now I feel like half of us hate the other half of us and I don’t feel very “American” at all but am still grateful as you mentioned.

  4. United States
    July 5, 2022 at 3:45 am (7 months ago)

    Elisa, I understand exactly how you feel. However, while I am saddened by the direction in which this country seems to be heading, I do not allow anyone or anything to dictate how I think or feel. So, every day, I wake up and tell myself, “Today is going to be a great day!” Then I go out and live life exuberantly.

  5. Tamara
    July 5, 2022 at 1:49 am (7 months ago)

    I feel similarly, and I’m not even American.

  6. Michelle Garrett
    July 4, 2022 at 9:18 pm (7 months ago)

    Sadly, I’ve been feeling this way for some time. As the wife of a veteran, I’m thankful for the sacrifices many make for our country. There are just way too many “freedoms” and “rights” that aren’t equally applied by elected officials and others.

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