What extraordinary courage would you be willing to show out of love for your country? Is such patriotism fading away with the passing of the WWII generation? I’m pondering this question after hearing about the daring adventures of the first CIA officer to be killed on duty in 1950, Douglas Seymour MacKiernan.
We aren’t all given a successful spy’s natural capabilities or opportunities. Still, the question haunts me. What extraordinary courage would you or I be willing to show out of love for our country? Where did you learn to be adventurous? Courageous? Patriotic? At what point did you use that skill and pass it on to others?
As a nation, do we prize developing our children to be patriotic, let alone brave adventurers? Or does our nation “groom” them for something else. If you follow the news at all, you know what I mean.
As a child, I came from a family that prioritized American citizenship. I learned patriotism from a community mainly comprised of loyal first-generation Americans and their immigrant parents. I belonged to a church that had an American flag in it and a school that taught me American heritage songs of both slavery and freedom so I could learn the difference.
In my post-college years, I had an interview with the FBI that lasted about two minutes. At that point in my life, I could not answer “Yes” to the question, “Could you shoot to kill?” Let’s call it an “A” for effort, but I was not as courageous and adventurous as required to be an agent. (It’s ok… go ahead and LOL!)
Courage and a spirit of adventure come from within. Those attributes may arise in the least likely places from the least likely individuals. But, somewhere along the way, stories of adventure, bravery, and courage were taught, modeled, or prioritized in one’s life. That is how a spark is created in the human heart to do what needs to be done at the moment it is required.
As our country faces danger from without and within, I ask myself how far I would be willing to go for the love of my country. For now, teaching students ages 11-80 to love their country by acquainting them with our founding documents, writing articles, and conducting civics and civil discussions online is what I do. But is it enough? I think that’s a question we must answer sooner than later. The USA has many enemies. Do we have “the right stuff” to survive and thrive?
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. 🇺🇸