Patriotism Throughout the Centuries

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Throughout history, patriotism is an attitude that greatly impacts the success of a nation. Patriotism is sparked amongst the most successful countries because its citizens demonstrate complete support and devotion to its principles and beliefs. The love and devotion which patriotism achieves for a nation is especially apparent in America today, because of the recent hardships it has suffered. However, such patriotism can be traced back to the most ancient times, years before the Common Era. Two great speeches which prove that patriotism was just as alive two thousand years ago as it is today are "The Funeral Oration of Pericles" and President George W. Bush's honorary speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The Greeks, especially the Athenians, were extremely proud of their achievements. In Pericles' funeral oration to the Athenians for the men who died in the Peloponnesian War, he stated, "I would have you day by day fix your eyes upon the greatness of Athens, until you become filled with the love of her; and when you are impressed by the spectacle of her glory, reflect that this empire has been acquired by men who knew their duty and had the courage to do it," (page 129). This clearly illustrates the love and dedication the Athenians felt for their nation. Rather than mourning for the loss of the dead, Pericles told his fellow citizens to look around and appreciate what the men died for. Additionally, Pericles mentioned, "I have dwelt upon the greatness of Athens because I want to show you that we are contending for a higher prize than those who enjoy none of these privileges and to establish by manifest proof the merit of those men whom I am now commemorating," (page 128). Pericles meant to say that if they lost the war, they would be losing more than the other countries without the privileges that Athens offered. They would be losing their democracy, superb military, unparallel beauty, and many other amenities. President George W. Bush held...
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