What is a Patriot?  The easy answer can be found in a dictionary.  Webster’s tells you a Patriot is someone who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests.  That definition may answer the question but there’s far more needed to fully answer the question.

When asked to name a Patriot, many people will name an American Hero.  Our nation’s history is replete with heroes.  Consider any span of time in American History and you’ll find Heroes aplenty.  These are the men and women who had the physical, and often moral, courage to rise up to meet the challenges and physical dangers in their lives.  With bravery, strength and determination, they overcame against all odds.

While a Patriot may be a Hero, more often Patriots do not make headlines.  They are rarely recognized publicly for their actions or nominated for an award.  They are scarcely known outside their family and circle of friends.  Yet their patriotism is evident in the quiet lives they live and for the positive impact they have in their home, their neighborhood and their community.  Collectively, they have an incredible influence for good on our nation.  They are honest and willing to share with others.  They are good neighbors who worship on Sunday and vote in every election.  They often volunteer in their communities, giving of their time to make things better.  They raise children, teaching them to follow in their parents’ footsteps.

Stop and consider your own family and friends.  A father—who supports his family, coaches Little League and pays everything he owes when tax time rolls around.  A mother—who raises and feeds her children but still has time to be active in the PTA and youth groups.  A friend who is a volunteer—involved in medical, social or humanitarian organizations so vital in our communities.  Children—who show respect for authority and for others.

These are Patriots.  They are the spirit of America that makes this nation the greatest in the world—“a shining city upon a hill.”  And we owe it to them to say “Thank You” for all they do.