Tag Archives: Citizenship

Realistic Patriotism, Public Service, and a Former Student

I recently learned that a former student of mine at the University of Northwestern recently published an op-ed in his hometown newspaper.

Aaron Reep is currently undergoing Marine Officer Training, but he managed to publish the piece in his Springfield, Ohio paper. The piece is based on a talk he gave before he left for training.

I think the piece is worth reading for several reasons.

First, it gets points for mentioning one of his former professors.

More significantly, I appreciate the piece for the realistic patriotism it expresses. It recognizes problems (currently as well as in the past) with the country. It doesn’t simply regurgitate slogans or rely on mythology masquerading as history. Instead, it possesses an eyes-wide-open approach to conditions. The author’s response, though, is to contribute his bit of public service for national defense as a way of improving the nation and conserving its strengths for the future. I suspect this more realistic outlook will better be able to withstand future challenges.

I would suggest this is a model of public-spirited, reflective citizenship that history–and dare I say history at the University of Northwestern?–can help nurture.

Read the whole thing here.

Thanks, Aaron!

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