Patriotism: What’s in it for you?

This city is the Cradle of Liberty™ for the entire United States. Fact. Lots of big and historical things happened in Philadelphia many years ago, and now lots of tourists show up around the 4th of July to somehow celebrate those things and honor the country.

And then there’s us. The folks who live here. The ones who bike past the Betsy Ross house everyday and don’t see it anymore, because it’s just a house. I know I see the Liberty Bell as a touristy annoyance for school groups and out-of-towners. I just end up with lots of people crowding the sidewalk and looking dumb. But that’s just me.

So now, in this season of tourist-based insanity, I’m left with a question. Folks travel to Philly to celebrate a patriotic holiday, to show what they hold dear. It’s pretty clear what their holiday is about and what patriotism means to them.

So citizens of Philadelphia (and the surrounding counties), what does patriotism mean to you?
Does living in the Cradle of Liberty™ influence that? How?

1 Comment so far

  1. Les (unregistered) on July 3rd, 2006 @ 10:59 pm

    Wow. What a great question!

    The patriotism I feel comes from the opportunities I’ve had living here. If it weren’t for this country, if it weren’t for Philadelphia, I doubt I would have the quality of life I have now.

    Born and raised in the Midwest, I still have a bit of an outsider’s perspective. Growing up, I always got wide-eyed and giddy at the thought of moving to the city. When I moved to Philly two years ago, I realized it was better than I had imagined! The cultural diversity, the atmosphere, and just the sheer number of different things to do in this city is truly incredible. I don’t know how I would feel if I grew up here, but given my upbringing, I know I’ll never take the life I have here in Philly for granted.

    I think each of us has our own, personalized version of the American Dream. With the challenges and trials along the way, there were a few years that I was almost certain that I’d never come close to living up to the aspirations I once had. I’ve always wanted the city life. For me, living in Philly is the realization of my American Dream. I absolutely love living and working in this city, and I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to leave.

    So as I passed the hoard of dumb-looking tourists at the Liberty Bell on my way home from work today, I realized that I was one of them just a couple years ago, wishing I could live in such a great city. And now I do. And I can’t help but smile.



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