Tuesday, February 18, 2014

National Pride

The Olympic Games have been a source of never-ending drama, upsets and excitement, as athletes from around the world compete for personal victories and national pride. Nothing seems quite as impressive as the parade of nations in the opening ceremony, with each nation recognized as its athletes emerge onto the world stage. Impressive were the nations bringing many athletes and inspiring were the countries represented with only one or two members. I was impressed with the pride each flag bearer displayed as he or she marched around the stadium.

I have been following the events. So far I have been impressed with the gold medal win of Tina Maze of Slovenia, the ice dance gold medal for USA skaters Meryl Davis and Charlie White, and the grit of the Jamaican two-man bobsled team. I also enjoy hearing the crowd send up cheers for its country's athlete. No matter what the odds may be, the country embraces its representatives as the athlete competes for his or her nation.

I enjoy watching people take pride in their nation.

Recently, I was struck by a conversation I had at an airport with a Canadian; he was visiting the United States and was now returning home.

I congratulated him on the win of the Canadian women's hockey team over the U.S. team. He beamed with pride and thanked me for the compliment. He then went on to compliment the United States.

He mentioned how impressed he was in his visit to the United States to see how many Americans took pride in their nation. He referenced the U.S. success in the Olympics, but he was especially moved to see the number of U.S. flags being flown everywhere. He said, "It's inspiring to see how many people show their national pride by flying the flag."

Men, sometimes we need to hear from someone on the outside. I thank you all for showing your national pride, and I encourage you all to continue showing that pride. Further, I would suggest not only showing your pride, but passing it along to those of the next generation.

Sometimes we forget how great our country is.

Sometimes we forget the sense of pride we inherited from those before us.


No comments :