A patriot is an individual who steadfastly supports and defends their country. They are the men and women who will sacrifice everything for their country’s ideals and place in the world.
Patriotism became a part of American identity when our forefathers took on the great and powerful kingdom of Britain. Thousands of brave, everyday people did their part in winning independence and giving birth to the greatest nation the world has ever known. The United States of America is a country unlike every other in the world because it was created by people who were defending the idea of freedom.
The 2016 election brought the idea of patriotism to the forefront. And the outcome is going to test the patriotism of citizens. There have been countless patriots in America’s history and there will be many more to come. As we move toward the future under a new president, it’s important to take a moment and remember of all the great American patriots who sacrificed everything for the freedom we enjoy today.
No list of great American patriots is complete without mentioning George Washington. Our first president was also the general and commander-in-chief that lead the U.S. to victory in the War of Independence. Washington was respected for being a level-headed man whose judgment wasn’t clouded by ambition. In fact, Washington planned to retire after the war, but the Congress elected him to be president because they understood a patriot of his stature could unite the states.
Washington’s popularity is still huge today, and every American knows him as one of the most important founders. This is evident in how highly coveted his memorabilia is among collectors. Few curators have historical documents for sale that include a signature from George Washington.
Mary Ludwig Hays
Mary “Molly Pitcher” Ludwig Hays is a perfect example of American bravery and courage under fire. During the Revolution, she traveled with her husband and his troops providing support. But when her husband fell at his cannon, Molly took his place. She reloaded and fired the cannon until the battle ended. George Washington ended up awarding Hays the title of non-commissioned officer.
Benjamin Franklin is one of the best-known founding fathers because he was such as Renaissance man. He may not be a war hero, but Franklin was a delegate for the U.S. before the country was formed and an ingenious inventor. However, few people realize that he played an important role in organizing various community organizations. Hospitals, fire-fighting clubs, libraries – Franklin looked out for the well-being of little guys first and foremost.
Without Benjamin Franklin, it’s hard to say what America would look like today. He played a significant role in crafting the new government, and he is the only person to sign all three documents that freed the colonies: the Declaration of Independence, The Treaty of Paris and the United States Constitution.
Andrew Jackson is one of the most identifiable American patriots since his image appears on the twenty dollar bill. Many people are already comparing Donald Trump’s presidential win to that of Jackson’s in 1829. It was considered a symbol of the people overcoming the establishment. Jackson himself wanted to be the representative of common man.
Before becoming president, Jackson served his country as a major general during the War of 1812, Tennessee’s first elected representative for the House of Representatives and as a senator.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower began devoting himself to the country right after high school. He attended West Point and quickly showed aptitude strategy and command. He was called upon during WWII to lead the Allied Forces in North Africa and also took part in planning D-Day. He ultimately became the Supreme Commander for the invasion of France.
The victorious WWII general helped to usher in the modern Republican era when he became president in 1953. He went on to serve two terms, during which he kept the fragile post-war peace intact. Despite having a heart attack in his second year in office, Eisenhower ran the country with a steady hand and earned respect from people on both sides of the aisle.
Having the courage to go into outer space in an effort to further U.S. exploration automatically makes you one of the country’s top patriots. Neil Armstrong and his fellow astronauts took on missions that tested their physical, mental and emotional on every level.
He and his crew on the Apollo 11 mission braved the uncertainty and, as a result, Armstrong became the first human being to step on the surface of the moon. It was an awe-inspiring and prideful moment watching Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin plant the American flag on the moon’s surface.
War hero John McCain is a man of principle and honor. Right now he’s considered one of the bridge builders on Capitol Hill. After serving nearly 30 years in the U.S. Navy, McCain didn’t stay idle long. The very next year in 1982 he became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Arizona. He then moved on to the Senate in 1986. In 2008, he was named the presidential nominee for the Republican party.
McCain has earned the respect of his colleagues, both Democratic and Republican, by being a fair and honest lawmaker. At 80 years old, McCain continues to serve his country as he enters his 6th term as Senator for the state of Arizona.