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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Modern Patriotism

Modern Patriotism

Current mood:cynical

Woke up this morning and was flipping thru the channels to see what the world had to offer before getting up and starting my day. I am a pretty big history buff, especially concerning local history, so I was pleased to find a program discussing Volusia and Flagler county life during WW2, spoken from the perspective of people who are still living who were here during that time. It was a great show, very informative, and accompanied by great visuals.

It was kind of neat getting into the gung ho mind set that Americans shared at that time of life...all the great efforts for the war, and the sense of patriotism and can-do spirit that existed.

At the end of the documentary, at probably the last 5 minutes, they had a montage of the people involved with the documentary speak of the patriotism...that no one felt as if it were a burden to contribute to the effort or sacrifice for the effort because that is what you did. They spoke of only knowing one country, the US, and doing anything they could do to help at wartime.

I was transported back to a simpler time, and it gave me cause to reflect to my own personal history and think back to a simpler time when technology did not exist.

These people were so sheltered, so innocent, and not in the least bit cynical. They were taught that the US is the best, and being attacked, we had to do whatever we were told and do it gladly. That begat the mindset.

That could never happen again. I think the closest we have seen lately is on the day of the World Trade Center events. The rallying patriotism afterward was probably the strongest I think we have or will see for a long time, but it of course was short lived.

We are a cynical lot, and immediately, thanks to modern technology, we are better informed and more deeply informed than our ancestors were in the 40s.

It was refreshing to see the patriotism of those who experienced it in the 30s-50s, but after Vietnam in the 60s, coupled with the better coverage of political events, more open public records and the speed of the internet, I believe the day of that type of blind patriotism that existed for WW2 is now extinct.

We as a society also think more globally than our parents or their parents. We have the world at our fingertips thanks to the net, and satellites which were not available even only a few short decades ago.

This is not a criticism of those who are patriotic, nor a call to arms for those who are not. This is just the observation of a middle aging guy who saw something thought provoking and thought about it.

Thought I would share.

Just imagine if CNN could have covered the crucifixion....hmmm.

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