Men love their country, not because it is great, but because it is their own. ~Seneca
If you are ashamed to stand by your colors, you had better seek another flag. ~Author Unknown
A man's feet must be planted in his country, but his eyes should survey the world.
The Independence Day is already here. The cities are getting ready for annual parades, and families are gathering for the biggest cookouts of the year. National colors - red, blue and white - can be seen everywhere: from the shopping windows of big department stores to little decorations on babies' onesies.
What is the 4th of July for us? What is it for our children?
The Independence Day is one of the most patriotic holidays in the United States of America. We adults do know that from many years of life experience. Do we feel patriotic? Do we pass our patriotism on to the next generation?
Patriotism is a love for and devotion to one's country. Being a patriot is being loyal, supportive and proud of your country and where you came from. That's exactly how I feel when I watch the Olympic Games on TV. I feel patriotic!
To avoid our kids' association of 4th of July with hot dogs and summer store wide sales we need to go back to the source - history. Tell your children how it all started and when the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress( on July 4th, 1776). Younger children will enjoy celebrating the Birthday of our country. Explain that that is why we have parades and fireworks, cookouts and concerts on-the-green to celebrate it. And just like birthdays we celebrate it once a year.
This is a good time to check out the original Declaration of Independence which you can see on line now: http://www.ushistory.org/Declaration/ ; http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration.html ; http://really-fine.com/history.html.
Even if your children will not remember all of the details they will still get that sense of importance that radiates from seeing the historic document with their own eyes. There is a large number of books dedicated to this holiday. Go to your local library and pick a couple ones out to reinforce the concept of the Independence Day through reading some picture books about the holiday itself and the country's history, traditions and customs.
Here are some you might like.
You can also have a talk about the symbolism of the American flag. Afterwards make an ice cream cake decorated like the flag with whipped cream, blueberries and strawberries. Your young patriots will work it down with delight.
Decorate your house with little flags, bake star-shaped cookies, glaze them and add some red and blue sprinkles. Make your own parade-on-the block attended by your neighbors' children. Do some coloring pages, announce a competition for the best sidewalk chalk art. The possibilities are endless.
I think patriotism is like charity -- it begins at home.
Henry Jamesa I cannot agree more with it. It is up to us, parents to raise proud citizens of our country. Enjoy your cheeseburgers and hot dogs but don't forget who we are!