Today, we lost a patriot. Jack Lucas was 13 years old when he forged his mother's signature and joined the US Marines just after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Soon after, he found himself on the shores of Iwo Jima, where he threw his body on two Japanese-lobbed grenades to save the lives of his comrades. At age 17, he was the youngest recipient of the Medal of Honor for his courage and bravey from the battle on the shores of Iwo Jima. He lost his battle today, to leukemia. We lost a hero and a patriot.
It's not just the fact that he did the unthinkable (his willingness to die for his comrades) that places a lump in my throat. It's also the fact that there was something that drove this man at age thirteen to want to fight for his country so badly. My son is thirteen years old, and I don't think he is any more or less of a patriot than I am, or Jack Lucas, for that matter. But, I wonder if he, or I would honestly be willing to bear arms for our country, if push came to shove? If a battle was fought on our soil, would you allow your 13-year old son to pick up a weapon to help protect this country? I can speak only for myself, and I would bear arms for my family at a moment's notice. But does it make me less of a patriot because I choose not to join in the military? My husband has been an active duty Air Force officer for 15 years. He loves serving his country. He finds purpose in protecting everything we hold dear and the freedom we enjoy. He would willingly sacrifice his life for this country, without reservation.
So, again, does it make me less of a patriot, because I am not in the military nor have any inclination to want to serve in that capacity?
What are your thoughts on this? What do you think makes a patriot? When you stand up and place your hand over your heart as the national anthem is played, or when the colors are posted in a room, do you still get gooesbumps, like I do? Living on military bases, I've have passed Old Glory at sunrise and when she is retired at sun-down. I can't explain the emotions I have inside, but the flag is definitely a constant reminder of how fortunate I am for the freedoms I enjoy. Please share with me, as we approach the anniversary of the United States' independence your thoughts on patriotism, and what it means to you.