Let’s Celebrate the Red, White and Blue!

Take this for whatever it’s worth: According to a WalletHub survey based on 13 data points encompassing military service, propensity for voting, volunteerism, and civic engagement, Virginia ranks as the most patriotic state in the United States. (View the ranking and methodology here.)

Alaska, No. 2, is close on our heels. But Virginia has a better balance of military and civic engagement. We rank 5th nationally for military metrics and 10th for civic metrics.

The least patriotic states? Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, in that order. Is anyone surprised?

So, take out your flag this July 4th, wave it around a bit, crank up the grill, set off a few fireworks, and show what real Virginians are made of!

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9 responses to “Let’s Celebrate the Red, White and Blue!

  1. Maybe one of the things that really instills pride of country in some is our National Parks of which we have been visiting perhaps half a dozen out West mostly in California, Nevada and Arizona.

    Not only are these parks just slammed with Americans, people from Europe and Asia and all over the world are also there. American National Parks are famous the world over – something we should be proud of.

    We dutifully go into every visitor center and learn it’s story including it’s history about how it came to be a National Park. They always cite the President who signed the law creating it and it sorta makes one think a little about the times back then when Conservationist POTUS acted to save and preserve places so they would belong to all Americans.

    But also a concern that perhaps that as a country – politically – we no longer always agree about the “government”… “saving” these places because one of the obvious things we have seen is how short-staffed the Park Service is and skinny their maintenance and operations are these days.

    They’ve had to increase prices – even for seniors and others and maybe that’s not a bad thing since those who do love the parks should directly support the parks.

    But I have asked myself a question a few times and that question is: ” If this were not a National Park and there was a modern-day effort to designate it, to purchase and preserve it for all Americans – today – would we agree as a country politically to do it or would it become like a lot of other things with a sharp divide pro and con”?

    So, being “Patriotic” as discussed in the referenced article is a complex subject with different criteria but this guy thinks that love of country also means love of our National Parks.

    • “If this were not a National Park and there was a modern-day effort to designate it, to purchase and preserve it for all Americans – today – would we agree as a country politically to do it…”

      Grand Teton National Park was assembled by John D. Rockefeller and donated to the United States.

      Ted Turner owns 2.2 million acres of land, home to the nation’s largest herd of bison. How do you think he will dispose of all that acreage when he dies? Sounds like the makings of a state or national park to me. Why don’t you start a campaign to pressure him?

      • Most of our greatest National Parks did come about as a result of philanthropy but instead Govt acting decisively to preserve and protect areas for all Americans before they would have been heavily commercialized.

        Not opposed to philanthropy at all and many State Parks and Preserves – including those in Va were formed through philanthropic partnerships and such. But your Sequoia, Mesa Verde, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, etc were done by Congress and the POTUS acting together to do something that if not done would have resulted in losing those places to development and commercialization.

        I think our country, without these magnificent places would be poorer because of their loss.

        Also not opposed to entrepreneurial concessionaires offering lodging, food, camping and other amenities.

        We took a commercial raft trip with commercial shuttles before and after, motels, etc… all tourist money for Las Vegas and region.. ( which some folks will think is the armpit of modern civilization).

        Anyhow – the core issue is – should it be Govt that takes the lead in preserving these places for all Americans or should it fall to philanthropy and/or commercialization?

  2. It was suggested earlier on this website that Corey Stewart, long time Chairman of Prince William County Board of Supervisors, and candidate for the US Senate, is a creature born of the military’s influence in Virginia. If this be so, then I suggest that we are much the better off for it.

    It was also suggested on this website that law enforcement (county police, state troopers and their ilk in Virginia) have been “militarized” by the hiring of officers who earlier had served in the US military. If this be so, I suggest that we are so much the better off because of it.

    This gives rise to my view that a growing number of people who should know better, have not a clue as to what military training today does for our youth, nor do they have a clue as to what service in today’s military really demands.

    Nor do they appreciate how hard and noble and demanding military service really is or can be, and what it really brings to the individual serving in the military, and what it also brings to all of us beneficiaries who do not and have not and never will serve in the military. Nor do they appreciate how our people in the military provide this nation with a steady and precious flow of earned ethics, honed and proven competence, lived performance of obligation, duty, and service to others, work and worth and character that serves, benefits and grows within this nation long after they leave military service. These are the qualities that this nation today so sorely misses and so vitality needs, qualities that it otherwise so grievously misses.

    Thank God there is nothing the matter with Kansas. Thank God there is nothing the matter with Virginia as regards its military and its veterans. Despite all the blather to the contrary, these are doers not whiners. These are givers not takers. These are victors not victims. These are citizens who by deed, hard work, toil, courage and culture hold this country together. And do it in rising times of corruption and cultural collapse that otherwise might overwhelm us. God Bless them everyday, not just on the 4th of July.

    • I have no greater appreciation and respect for our military and those that join and do that work but I also believe we have overly militarized our civilian police forces and have done so by adopting a more militaristic culture more similar to how we treat civilians in countries that we occupy.

      We need to keep the Police – a civilian-oriented force… one that civilians embrace with trust and respect – and cooperation in rooting out bad guys.

      Even our military has to do that to gain the trust and respect of civilians in countries where they operate. “Winning hearts and minds.”

      The people you “police” have to trust and respect or else you become the enemy and bad guys take over because they are considered the lesser of the two evils. That’s a big problem in the countries where we do deploy our military AND it’s a big problem in some places in the US where our own civilians see the police as acting like military.

      We need a well trained, highly professional police force – that is patient and shows restraint – especially with folks who are not armed and deadly force should not be the first response as it might be doing in an occupied country where the civilians can be deadly threats – but when we get that point in the US – we need to back up and think about if we actually want police to be “military”.

      July 4 is about our Country – not just our military – as important as it is.

      • Reed, you were probably thinking of my comments as well. I believe in what our military does and the benefits to our nation that would come from a mandatory military (or equivalent) public service obligation. The military teaches self-confidence and discipline, and how to deal with a bureaucracy, and how to follow orders. The military has a “can-do” mentality that we desperately need in our communities today.

        The military also teaches how to demand compliance from civilians using sophisticated weaponry and blunt force, sometimes in lieu of time-consuming communication and persuasion. The military, quite unsurprisingly, has more than its share of aggressive “macho” personalities who do not respect inarticulateness, weakness, evasion, and react poorly to those who abuse themselves and others and refuse to follow rules and take orders. Given the duties of a police officer and the civilian situations they must confront, and their authority and responsibility to give orders when necessary to assert control, it is a near impossible task to be friendly and easy-going and approachable around the neighborhoods they patrol. But they must try. Indeed there are communities in which they do not appear to try hard enough, where armed force is invoked too quickly, or without restraint, or where racial and cultural differences get in the way of communication or trust. But that observation is not to disparage the military. It is a reflection on the difficulty of the job and the difficulty of recruiting good people for the job and the difficulty of being both a law enforcer and a trusted fellow civilian.

        On this Fourth of July I celebrate what brings us together and what we have in common. Corey Stewart does not, in my opinion, help in that regard; but that’s just my opinion. I don’t know if he has a military background, but I do know that a lot of military folks live in Prince William County and that is the jurisdiction that has elected him repeatedly to local office, and so I jump to the conclusion that he must have support among his military constituents. I remain confident that the State as a whole will not elect Stewart over Kaine, indeed, that it will not be a close contest. But that is not to disparage the military. That is my political prediction, and time will tell if I am right.

        There are many things about our current President that I have come to loathe, and as the result of his attacks on the institutions of government and the media, at a time of great stress and upheaval in that media, I fear for the future of our political system. But that is not to disparage the military. In fact I think the military has proved to be the most responsible and stable influence in the current administration.

        So let me echo Larry’s comment, “July 4 is about our Country – not just our military – as important as it is.”

  3. Larry, Your assigned reading is, “Grand Canyon for Sale: Public Lands versus Private Interests in the Era of Climate Change,” by Virginia author Stephen Nash. You’ll like his perspective.

  4. Suggesting that military or ex military people back people like Corey Stewart is hateful, wrong headed and insults the military. They all moved to Prince William? What happened was that during a residential building boom occurred 15 years ago, there were not enough laborers, contractors, carpenters and so on. So, a lot of Hispanic people filled that need. Some were legal and some were not. When Wall Street melted down through bad loans and credit default swaps, the good white folk or some of them no longer found it convenient to have darker skinned people around. Enter a come-here like Corey Stewart.

    To say the military was a factor insults the military. Funny but in my district, a former CIA covert official and a former Marine combat pilot ran in the Democratic primary. Both are liberals but firm on defense. Both think what Trump is doing to the country is nuts and they are right.

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