Unselfishly, you left your fathers and your mothers,
You left behind your sisters and your brothers.
Leaving your beloved children and wives,
You put on hold, your dreams—your lives.
On foreign soil, you found yourself planted
To fight for those whose freedom you granted.
Without your sacrifice, their cause would be lost
But you carried onward, no matter the cost.
Many horrors you had endured and seen.
Many faces had haunted your dreams.
You cheered as your enemies littered the ground;
You cried as your brothers fell all around.
When it was over, you all came back home,
Some were left with memories to face all alone;
Some found themselves in the company of friends
As their crosses cast shadows across the land.
Those who survived were forever scarred
Emotionally, physically, permanently marred.
Those who did not now sleep eternally
‘Neath the ground they had given their lives to keep free.
With a hand upon my heart,
I feel The pride and respect; my reverence is revealed
In the tears that now stream down my upturned face
As our flag waves above you, in her glory and grace.
Freedom was the gift that you unselfishly gave
Pain and death was the price that you ultimately paid.
Every day, I give my utmost admiration
To those who had fought to defend our nation.
I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.
Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.
Patriotism means loving our country, not the government.
It must never be unpatriotic to support your country against your government. It must always be unpatriotic to support your government against your country.
In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated, and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.
Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.
Patriotism, to the patriot hero, does not consist in aiding the government of his country in every base or stupid act it may perform, but rather in paralyzing its power when it violates vested rights, affronts instituted justice, and assumes undelegated authority.
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