9/27/14 – Cheyenne, WY. Patriotism is a quality that all citizens of a nation should have. How is it defined? Well, here are some thoughts about that, derived from The Air Officer’s Guide, which, was a gift to me by my commanding officer when I received a commission as a Second Lieutenant. It’s from Chapter 16, The Code of the Air Force, p.245:
“Patriotism is an intelligent devotion to the interests of the United States, above every other consideration. I’s based upon a conviction that preservation of the American system of life, with its noble traditions, free institutions, and infinite promise is at once the highest practical morality and the most enlightened self-interest.
“Patriotism springs from deep knowledge that this land, this people, are in truth the hope of the earth. Such patriotism is not jingoism, blindly unaware of faults in our American system, stupidly touting it as perfect. Rather, such patriotism works to remove faults that do exist, while remaining confident that here in the United States of America the fallible hands and limited minds of men have done their best work, that ours is the most promising road yet found toward a goal of human welfare, toward freedom, dignity, and justice for each individual, and peace for the world.
“We know we have not yet reached this goal, but we believe the United States is man’s longest stride in that direction, and we mean to see to it that the ground thus far gained is not lost, nor the path onward obliterated.”