Being Intentional About Teaching Patriotism

A few weeks ago I took my family with me on a training program at a Marine base in North Carolina. My younger daughter, Sydney, had a thousand questions about everything from why they were called Marines to why they lived on a base and what they do. It was with great pride that I told her about what they and other people in the military do to protect our freedom.

While there we toured the base and even took some time to work out at the various outdoor exercise stations. We watched in wonder at the helicopter maneuvers. We talked about the sacrifices made by the children and spouse as their mom or dad is deployed somewhere far away from them.

On the last morning of our trip we stopped at a memorial at the base. Sydney got out of the car and ran to the helicopters and statues, taking numerous pictures. On the way home she babbled on and on about what she saw and how one day she wanted to be a Marine. She even ate healthier at lunch since she was beginning her training regimen (lasted one meal).

Regardless of the country in which we live, we should all be intentional about teaching our children the meaning of patriotism and about those who patriots who insure our freedom by their sacrifice. If we don't, then we are raising a generation of people who will think freedom just happens naturally-and nothing could be further from the truth.