Letter: Patriotism is Instilled, Not Inborn

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A good many Laguna Beach citizens (and their families) missed a great opportunity to pay tribute to all our veterans. To come together as a community with friends and neighbors, and their families; to impress upon our children that our freedom has been earned and is not a given freebie. Our overt acknowledgment by joining in, waving a flag and wearing a red poppy—simple things—would help us explain to our children that faith in our nation (and our military) is the common thread that unites us to stand up to serve (if need be) to continue that freedom. It’s likely the only time we expose our patriotism.

Thursday’s service was outstanding. It belies the effort it took to bring it to pass. Beginning with the heartfelt Pledge of Allegiance, speeches were meaningful and to the point, the Anthem was sung beautifully and listening to the words was awakening, the Marine Corps Band was a special treat, and the earlier fly-over of the C-17 was awesome! Retired Marine Col. Charlie Quilter’s keynote speech was particularly poignant; respectful, yet constrained—most appropriate for the many of us who know only the life of the free.

We have but three noteworthy opportunities to join together to demonstrate and instill our patriotism, especially as family, neighbor and community: Veterans Day, the Patriots Day Parade and Memorial Day. Our country depends on the patriotism of all its citizens. Don’t overlook these opportunities. Be a patriot!

Mike Gamerl, Laguna Beach

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