Patriotism can be compared to the structure of a building. It keeps the building standing tall and strong. Without it the building would crumble. When we think of patriotism we think of America. Patriotism is a love and devotion to one's country, so it is not limited to only America. Marquis de La Fayette was a French patriot who served as a general for France yet received no pay. He is just as much a patriot as our George Washington or Poland`s Kazimierz Pułaski. They all did things to serve their country whether it be serving with no pay, being a general, or even becoming the first American president. Many people believe that they are patriotic. But, what truly makes one patriotic? In the late 18th century Americans personified patriotism. So far that some might say they developed patriotism itself. They took chances, formed a nation, and pledged their loyalty and lives to build the structure that we today call America. Without their wild devotion we might still be in the thirteen colonies. Patriotism today gets expressed in many ways, including through the men and women that serve our military all around the world, families that fly the American flag in front of their homes, and children who pledge to that flag in our schools. Everyday citizens exercise their right to vote for our leaders, our laws, and our legislation. Patriotism, a deeply personal expression, builds a strong structure when joined by others. A building is only as strong as its structure just as a country is only as strong as its patriots.