Patriotism Is Not Dead

Published 2:56 pm Monday, November 27, 2017

All too often, the portrayal of our young people is that of disengagement. I have heard comments such as, “children today aren’t like they used to be” or “children today feel entitled.” After witnessing the events that took place in each and every school in Spartanburg School District One this past week, I would have to agree.

Children today are not like they used to be. Through the advancement of technology and sound teaching practices, children learn and communicate differently today than they did when my generation was growing up. Our children are changing with the world around them.  However, I witnessed something throughout this past week that remains unchanged: Patriotism.

I witnessed the streets lined with children waving American flags and holding signs thanking veterans for their service. I witnessed teachers beaming with pride as they looked on during veteran appreciation assemblies and meals. I witnessed veterans with tears of gratitude in their eyes as they shook the hands of our students and staff.

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As to children and entitlement, I believe our children should feel a sense of entitlement. They have grown up in a country where they are entitled to freedom. They are entitled to security. They are entitled to an education that will allow them to achieve their biggest dreams. These are the very things our military service men and women fight to protect!

During this week of celebrating veterans, I saw hope, encouragement, and sincere understanding of service and sacrifice in the eyes and actions of our students.

To the men and women who have served or are currently serving this great nation; please know that your sacrifices are not in vain. The future of our country is solid. If you want a positive vision of our future, visit one of our classrooms and you will see that the pride and respect for the United States of America are as evident today as they have ever been, despite any contrary belief.  I am so proud of the entire District One community for their patriotism and love of country. I am encouraged to know that the timeless values of patriotism, honor, and respect are secure in today’s youth. Lastly, I want to thank each and every member of the armed forces for their service and sacrifice. Thank you for your commitment to the well-being of this country and for your determination to keep patriotism alive.

Ronald W. Garner, Superintendent Spartanburg School District One