Last July I wrote the post above because of a shift I detected then in my longheld resistance to patriotism, based on two books I read around that time. Last night I felt that shift deepen watching an HBO movie called "Taking Chance". If you haven't seen it, I promise you it's worth 80 minutes of your time.
Based on actual events from 2004, Kevin Bacon portrays a Marine colonel who travels from Delaware to Montana accompanying the body of 21 year old Marine private Chance Phelps, killed in action in Iraq. After arriving in Montana, the Colonel attends the funeral service Private Phelps' family has been waiting to have. Then he returns home to his family. The film is totally matter of fact; nothing happens aside from what I described; there is no dramatic arc. But the simple story, based on a journal the Colonel kept to document his experience, is powerful and moving. All day today I've remained haunted by it.
Despite having a Father who was a proud WWII vet, films and books about the military, especially those extolling patriotism, have had limited appeal for me in the past. Clearly, that is shifting. "Taking Chance" reminded me, without manipulating me, of the debt I owe to the men & women in our military and has me reconsidering patriotism, again.