We Americans usually reserve the more kindly word "patriot" for ourselves and use "nationalist" to diss other people who exhibit special feeling for their country. In the extreme, it's "superpatriot" for us and "ultranationalist" for them.
It behooves Americans not only to pause and consider their war dead, even if just doing so by pondering the anonymous tale of a single lapidary name, but also to think about a contemporary society where the whole concept of such binding sacrifice is equally dead.
Originally known as "Armistice Day," November 11 was chosen to annually memorialize the cessation of hostilities between the Allied powers and Germany ending World War I, which was then regarded as "the war to end all wars."
It's interesting to see how some have foolishly engaged in a debate about why Snowden has not "come home to face the music." What does that mean? he should come home and go to jail? Are we romanticizing and putting nobility on being locked up? Really?
Here are a dozen of the thousands who are courageously resisting illegal and unjust government actions. They risk their freedom to challenge the state for freedom and truth and justice. They are the true patriots.
We may be safer from external threats, but there's a dangerous internal weakness fostered by a lack of nationalism 11 years later that threatens our future more than Islamic fundamentalists in Asia and Africa.
I am a passionate, progressive, pro-choice, artistic, forward-thinking, optimistic yet sometimes sarcastic, spirit-seeking, showtune-singing, equality-supporting, Mary-Chapin-Carpenter-loving gay dad. And I am an American.
Both of my parents passed away in the month of May over a decade ago, making every Memorial Day particularly poignant for me. So my first suggestion is simply one of gratitude. We have so much to be thankful for in the men and women who have had the courage to serve our nation.
The Steinbeck Award points to examples of American patriots who have made an indelible impact on our culture. Mr. Moore aptly fulfills every required parameter designed to guide the choice of award recipients.
For someone who didn't attend college, Gregory Smith is intellectually agile and has an amazing command of language. It's not so much that he uses big words as the fact that he uses rich ones. He's almost lyrical.
The Tea Partiers are not entirely wrong to warn about the potential of the state to repress freedom, but in overlooking the role of the state in ensuring these freedoms, they foolishly misread history.