The Middlesex County Good Citizenship award-winning essay by Shweta
Patriotism is an innermost representation of the interest and devotion we feel towards the country we live in. In the United States, patriotism is a fervent desire to preserve the welfare created by our founding leaders for American independence, as well as to create a more cohesive society by applying knowledge of the country’s past. Today, more than ever before, American youth are challenged to maintain the patriotic power of nationalism in order to continue to make advancements. The patriotism of America’s youth motivates the building of a stronger country by inspiring change for progress, creating unity through the youth’s willingness to perform community service, and determining the youth’s purposes in society in order to build a sounder future. With a cumulative knowledge of the past and an aspiring goal to direct our country in a progressive direction, today’s young adults are undoubtedly tomorrow’s future representatives.
Primarily, the nationalism of America’s youth inspires the construction of a stronger nation by generating change for progress, which is only possible by the youth’s preservation of the country’s past. My involvement with the Menlo Park Veterans Home displays the importance of maintaining awareness of the past in today’s youth. Many of the veterans that I talk to while volunteering in the common area discuss their experiences in war, such as their selfless acts of devotion during World War II, and their reasons for dedicating their lives to the wellbeing of our country. Their direct accounts of the importance of maintaining patriotism within our country’s youth is truly humbling and inspiring. Being aware of the past makes me feel more eager to take advantage of what I have in order to make a positive change. With common patriotic desires and knowledge of the past, America’s youth is capable of making progress to help a wider community. Scientific discoveries, technological advancements, and interactional programs are just some of the many areas that our youth population can develop to stimulate national progress and global connections. All in all, today’s youth is tomorrow’s future, and our ability to expand from the past enables us to make advancements within the United States.
Equally as important, the patriotism displayed by our country creates a cohesive nation by unifying the youth and their common desire to reach out to the community. I personally saw this process unfold shortly after the catastrophic Superstorm Sandy that affected twenty four states along the east coast. Only hours after Superstorm Sandy had passed, firemen, PSE&G, and many other civilians in my area began to clean up and restore power to the thousands who lost it. However, the first moment I saw how powerful the youth population could be in restoring stability after the storm was when I participated in a Beach Sweep at Sandy Hook through my school’s Rotary Interact Club. When I saw its conditions, I was disheartened and felt that there was no possibility of ever restoring the beach’s condition to its prior state. However, as more student volunteers began to come not only from New Jersey but New York, Connecticut, and Virginia as well, I realized that the Beach Sweep’s goal consisted of more than just picking up trash; it brought together people my age all across the East Coast, united by a common desire to restore our nation’s strength. Throughout the day, I got the opportunity to meet people my age who had a similar response to the horrid conditions of the East Coast. The more people I met while cleaning up the beach, the more I started to think about how much of a difference we were making in creating even more unity than our country had before the storm. I cannot help but dwell on how the help of students from several states made such a tremendous impact on those who wanted to enjoy Sandy Hook’s beach again. What started off as a community cleanup evolved into a national collection of students demonstrating the impact of patriotism on unity.
Similarly, the devotion of our youth influences the building of a secure future for this country by encouraging people to find their place in society. Our youth’s desire to make an impact extends farther than local community projects. Our pursuit to make a national impact displays where we see ourselves in our—and the country’s—future. This past March, I helped organize a Blood Drive through the Red Cross Foundation to support our local hospitals. One of the nurses told me that only approximately five percent of the population donates blood, but with more and more schools holding blood drives, the percentage has significantly increased. Upon further research, I discovered that eighty percent of the blood donations given to the Red Cross are collected at blood drives set up at community organizations, companies, high schools, and colleges, all organized dominantly by adolescents. The efforts and intelligence our youth displays in the present is what we strive to maintain in the future. The awareness of everyone’s place in society today is what enables the youth to excel in promoting patriotism and national empowerment. The increasing number of students participating in national events indicates the number of people aware of their place in society and the impact they have on their country.
A strong nation cannot be constructed by a sole community or state; it requires the collective effort of our patriotic society, devoted to preserving the well-being of the United States in its entirety. America’s youth are the quintessence of what it means to be a patriot, revealed by their unrelenting dedication to creating a future that reflects the progression of the country. Undoubtedly, the privileged young adults are motivating the building of a noteworthy nation through their displays of patriotic commitments. Their knowledge of the past, execution in community service, and determination to create a worthy future enables our country to progress. Today’s young adults, through their patriotic displays, will positively define the imminent future.
Shweta is a junior this year. She says, “I submitted this essay to a contest as a scholarship opportunity. The Middlesex County Good Citizenship contest was hosted by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The essay prompt was: ‘How does the patriotism of our country’s youth influence the building of a stronger nation?’ I was inspired to write this essay because in today’s society patriotism is not as valued as it used to be and can sometimes have a negative connotation. People say that today’s young adults do not display patriotism for their country, but I disagree. Through my volunteer work, I have seen numerous examples of how our nation’s youth come together to make an impact on the United States and its future.”