Ask 100 people the meaning of patriotism. You’ll probably get 100 different answers.
We can all agree that showing respect for the flag, our nation and our armed forces is important. But we might not all agree on exactly what that looks like for each of us.
But it would be difficult to question the patriotism recently shown by two young boys in Clay County, Florida.
The 11-year-olds are Isaac Davis and Nate Helmuth. They serve as safety patrols for Coppergate Elementary School in Middleburg, Florida.
One of their jobs is to lower the American flag when school is over for the day. They then fold it 13 times and put it in a safe place inside the school.
On this particular day, a torrential downpour was occurring. They could have waited out the storm or let Old Glory get soaked. But they were determined to do their job right.
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Despite the downpour, the boys went outside. They lowered Old Glory and performed the 13-fold ceremony. Like they always do.
Yes, they got drenched. But they treated the flag with respect. And they protected it from the elements before they went home.
The school posted this note on Facebook: “This is what RESPECT looks like at Coppergate. Two of our safety patrols, Nate and Isaac, quietly went to the courtyard and completed their flag duty in a driving rainstorm. Not only did they bring the flag down, they also stood in the wind and rain and calmly completed the 13 folds.
“Then Nate protected the flag as he walked with honor and respect to retire it for the day. We are so proud of Nate and Isaac for their responsibility, respect, devotion to duty, and love of country.”
An Inspiration for All of Us
Kim Miskowski, the school’s media specialist, was impressed by the boys’ actions.
“They were folding the flag reverently. They were reverent. And they were doing 13 folds… and you know, our country is in a little bit of turmoil… it just struck me.
“When they walked away, they held it… cradled it to protect it. And it was just a moment that was meant to be, I think.”
One boy said, “I felt like it was the respectful thing to do.” The other added, “We have good people in our country, and we should all be good.”
A Child Shall Lead Them
Sometimes it takes a child to show us the meaning of patriotism and respect for the flag and our country.
I don’t know about you. But I feel a lot better about the future of our nation when I see something like that happen.
I’d also love to know what comes to your mind when you think of patriotism. What examples of patriotism have you seen demonstrated that really meant something to you? Or perhaps it’s something you’ve done yourself. Hope you’ll chime in with your thoughts and leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.
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