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Patriotism measured in values, not volume

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GUEST EDITORIAL

By Kevin Loftin of Galax

On July 4, we celebrated America’s 1776 declaration of independence from Great Britain.
However, according to a recent national poll only 58 percent of U.S. residents know the year that our country declared independence.
An astounding 24 percent of residents don’t even know from which country we declared independence.
These are basic facts of American history integral and necessary to being an informed member of society.  According to law, an applicant for U.S. citizenship must demonstrate “a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history of the United States.”
By that criteria and the results of the poll, a huge portion of Americans are not fit to be citizens of their own country.
This is not a failing on the part the education system.  The idea that the United States declared independence from Great Britain in 1776 is one of the first aspects of history taught in grade school.
Neither is it a failing on the part of society. As is evidenced by the massive celebrations held every July 4th, we as a society hold love of country to be most dear.
This is rather a failing on the part of the individual — the individual who fails to learn the story of his country’s birth, the individual who forgets when and why we became a nation.
Countless thousands have given their lives to preserve and protect America’s freedom, so is it too much to ask to remember a date?
A true patriot is an informed one, not a loud one.