Follow true meaning of patriotism

We have been hearing a great deal about patriotism. I have no problem with the generally accepted meaning of patriotism, which includes such acts as participating in parades or patriotic festivities, or service to our country or one's community.

However, I feel that there are other aspects of patriotism that should also be included. Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines patriotism as “love of or devotion to one’s country.” Since a country and its people are closely tied to each other, love of country must also include love for its people. Thus, patriotism must include love for the individuals in the country.

Therefore, a patriotic people will be concerned about the well-being of all its people.

Thus, a patriotic people will recognize the importance of good health to a person’s well being and will work to ensure that all of its people have access to adequate physical and mental health.

Patriotic people will seek to provide a quality education for its children and young people, regardless of their social or economic status.

Webster’s definition also means that we will not discriminate or demean anyone on the basis of sin color, physical features, religion, ethnicity or sexual preference.

I realize that these are lofty standards and that as a nation, we may never achieve, but as individuals, we need to be mindful of the meaning of patriotism and attempt to live up to its standards.

Richard Reimer, North Newton