In this GD thread on MichelleObama there is, predictably, discussion of her remark about being proud (or “really proud”) of her country for “the first time.” My own take on the remark was that it was a stupid thing to say politically, but largely understandable.
I’d like to hear about specific things your country has done that have made you proud. Ideally these things would have happened during your lifetime, and not be sports victories.
Here’s mine: I was proud of the United States when the first President Bush stated that he was going to push Iraq out of Kuwait, but had no intention of occupying Kuwait or invading Iraq, and then followed up on his word.
Every time there’s a natural disaster, here or abroad, and the American people jump in to help. All levels of gov’t failed New Orleans, but private individuals, churches & businesses all rallied to help, and often had to fight gov’t red tape to get through.
after the 7/7 bombings in London, when everyone came out of their offices a week later to stand on the streets in silent defiance. This wasn’t about being proud of the government, but being proud of the people, standing as one and saying ‘fuck you, we’ve seen worse than this’. It gave me a tiny glimmer of what ‘the blitz spirit’ really means to Brits
Hearing about Canadians venturing out in the dead of night in their boats to search for survivors of Swissair Flight 111 and then opening up their homes to the families of the victims. And not long after that, hearing stories of another small town welcoming total strangers with open arms when several planes were grounded in Gander, Newfoundland when American airspace was closed down on 9/11.
Both are shining examples of Canadian generosity (and more importantly, of East Coast hospitality).
It renewed my pride in my country when I saw your post here and it reminded me how lucky I am to live in a country where it’s okay to admit you aren’t proud of your country, and even be a vocal critic of the government.
When I think about how people in other parts of the world face getting thrown in jail or even executed for criticizing their government, it makes me appreciate living in a country where the citizens are free to question, criticize, or even ridicule our leaders.
I do think that those who criticize America are sometimes short-sighted and foolish, not realizing how good we actually have it here, but I would never tell them they don’t have the right to say such things. As I get older and see how much some people would like to take away free expression, it makes the right to say whatever you want, no matter how terrible or offensive it might seem to some, one of the most sacred human rights to me.
I had a dangerous swelling of pride on the 90th Anniversary of the 1916 Rising. Dublin was thronged with people for a military parade, marching bands etc. It was a lovely sunny, Easter Sunday and a very touching ceremony. Afterward, my friend and I went up to Glasnevin Cemetery where most of the ‘martyrs’ for the cause are buried.
I was just a kid, but oh so proud of my country, and those guys and gals in our Armed Forces who won it for us are still my heroes.
Funny thing about this thread,
I remember asking this question in a post (not an OP), and a couple of Dopers whom I respect allowed they were never proud of this country. I still wonder if they were putting on airs or simply being horses asses in this one area.
Not even when we landed on the moon? Or first got those glorious picture from Hubbell? Or defied Russia and kept Berliners fed with the Berlin Airlift? Making Russia back down in the Cuban Missile crisis?
A lot of posters don’t remember any of those things apart from Hubbell pictures. The first moon landing was 39 years ago, and even if you’re old enough to remember it you might have just thought, “Wow,” rather than “Wow, America is okay.”
Which is my reaction to Hubbell.
One of my reasons for starting this thread is that I can understand how it’s possible that Michelle Obama might never have felt any strong sense of pride in her country until she was in her forties. And I wanted to hear if other posters find it comprehensible.
To me it’s odd, but understandable. I love the history of the founding fathers and the constitution. I love the sacrifices American soldiers made in WWII. But it seems that in my own lifetime, there have only been a handful of instances when I have felt active pride in America.
I can readily believe that for an idealistic minority female there might not be a handful of instances. There might be pretty much none at all.
Even though it didn’t happen in her lifetime, 100 years ago there were two negro lynchings a week in America. Fifty years ago there were still “whites only” drinking fountains in the South.
And no matter where you place the blame, black communities suffer substandard schools, lousy property values, high imprisonment rates, etc. It could make a sense of pride in one’s country a hard thing to come by.
So did you find her comment surprising? Silly? Strange?
I agree with the poster who talked about the aftermath of Katrina as a good moment for America.
Another moment of American pride for me was the majority of American’s supporting Bill Clinton during his impeachment. It was a contemptible country-crippling witch hunt, and I was proud that the American people generally understood that.
The moon landing was pretty neat, although it almost seemed to be an event beyond political boundaries. It was, of course, heavily political, but I felt more like a spectator at an historic moment in world history than a proud partisan.
And it’s nice to hear from the non-US posters. I’ll click the links and read the stories when I’ve got a spare half hour.
The first thing that comes to mind that occurred during my lifetime is the Canadian caper, where Canadian diplomats managed to smuggle six American diplomats out of Iran at the time of the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979-1980.
In addition to the hospitality shown to air passengers who were unexpectedly diverted to Canadian airports on 9/11 after the US closed its airspace, I was also proud when emergency personnel from Canada volunteered to respond to the scene in New York, and Canadian hospitals offered what help they could.
And on a slightly smaller scale, I was proud to be a student at the University of Alberta in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The U of A offered free room and board and tuition to any student from the southern US whose education was interrupted by Katrina, and had at least one taker. Good for the U!
1968-I was only five years old. Martin Luther King had been killed. Bobby Kennedy had been killed. We started losing in Vietnam. The Democratic National convention happened and the* police* rioted. I was just a child and I didn’t understand what was happening, but I saw what I saw on TV.
Then, on Christmas eve, we saw the first images of the earth rising over the moon and heard the voices of the Astronauts:
"We are now approaching lunar sunrise and, for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
"And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
"And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth."
Wow, just wow.
I feel very strongly about the separation between church and state, but as a five year old boy, that was amazing.
I dare anyone to wiki ‘1968’. Then, ask yourself why we need the Patriot act, warrantless wiretapping and the rest.