Essay on Patriotism Is Not A Strictly American Ideal

1408 Words Apr 6th, 2016 6 Pages
Patriotism has many definitions. The dictionary says that it is love and support of one’s country. But patriotism means more than what is just in the dictionary. Someone in America might associate it with freedom and democracy, while someone in Vietnam might associate it with loyalty to Communist principles. However, all definitions follow the same thread: loyalty to one’s country. Patriots are people who fight for their country, through words or through actions. The sense of American patriotism has been reinforced with each war, and the American people have tried to spread that patriotism when they could. What Americans failed to realize in the Vietnam War was that patriotism is not a strictly American ideal: loyalty to one’s country does not have to mean loyalty to America. To the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese people, it meant loyalty to their country and defense of their communist principles and communities. Each account in Christian Appy’s “Patriots” is told by a patriot, whether Vietnamese or American. Each account is told by someone who sacrificed and fought for their country, through military service or through protest.
The people who experienced the Vietnam War, whether Vietnamese or American, Viet Cong or Green Beret, all experienced the same war. They witnessed the bloody war where thousands died. Tran Thi Gung remembers that “I witnessed a lot of killing and suffering. I can’t imagine how many GIs I killed. After all, I detonated land mines and threw grenades,…

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