About This Book
It's time for an antidote to all the negativity! You'll find that in this collection of 101 inspiring stories about what makes America great. From apple pie and baseball to our military heroes and first responders, from our vast and varied country to our energy and spirit, these stories will make you proud to be an American!
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Five tips to revive your patriotism in our great nation
Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of America by Amy Newmark; foreword by Lee Woodruff
We live in a great country! Sometimes that gets lost in all the negativity of the political process. Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of America comes to the rescue, reminding us why we love our vast and beautiful nation, our ingenuity and kindness, our military service members and veterans, our eager new citizens, and our diversity. Here are five tips that may even increase your patriotism and your pride in our great nation!
- The “red, white and blue” never ceases to stir our pride. Josephine Fitzpatrick wanted the perfect replacement for the worn-out American flag she and her veteran husband flew in front of their home. It took her weeks to find a flag that met her standards — high quality and made in the U.S.A. — but she finally found one, just in time for the Fourth of July. As she waited in the checkout line, a man behind her offered to pay for it. Suspicious of his offer, Josephine adamantly refused. But when he said that it made him happy to see someone fly the flag, and explained that he was a veteran, her attitude immediately changed. She accepted his offer with a hug and told him about the five members of her family who were veterans. “The gift given to me by one of our country’s heroes flies from my front porch,” she says. “It is, indeed, the perfect flag.”
- That American can-do attitude makes things happen. Stuck in a major traffic jam on the highway, Elizabeth Atwater started talking to a young mother who looked frustrated and near tears. Elizabeth learned that the new mom was on her way to meet her soldier husband, who was returning from a deployment, at the airport. It would be his first time meeting their newborn son. A truck driver overheard her story and made it his mission to get her to the airport. He saw a news helicopter overhead, made a call to the television station, and convinced the manager to have the helicopter land in a nearby field and fly the young mother and her son to the airport. “We all had wanted to see that young woman make it to the airport in time to greet her soldier,” Elizabeth shares. “For just a little while we were all of one mind and one purpose and it was a beautiful thing.”
- We move about our vast nation and find hospitable new homes wherever we go. Dirt was the last thing Marianne Fosnow expected to miss when she and her husband moved from Illinois to South Carolina. But when she went to plant her annual spring garden at their new home, Marianne was shocked to find hard, orange clay instead of the soft, rich soil she knew in Illinois. She worried that her plants would not do well in this unfamiliar soil. They flourished, though, in the warmth and sunshine of South Carolina. “They grew fuller and stronger,” Marianne says. “I’ve embraced the new environment, and I too am flourishing… The terrain may change from state to state, but roots can still be established no matter where you plant yourself.”
- If you want to understand how lucky we are, ask an immigrant. Whenever Eva Carter starts to complain about something, she reminds herself about her counterpart living in another, less fortunate country. Eva calls this other woman “my sister of the world, my sister whom I’ve never met.” She thought of her when she moaned about having to wait in the rain to vote. “Would you have dismissed such petty inconveniences as the lines and the rain if you were allowed to vote for a candidate of your choice?” Eva writes. “Or can’t you vote at all because you are a woman?” She thought of the sister she’s never met when she married the man she loves. “Were you happy on your wedding day?” Eva writes. “Or were you filled with fear and dread?” By asking these questions, Eva realizes how fortunate and blessed she is to have moved here and become a citizen. “Sometimes I have to remind myself not to take my good fortune for granted. That’s when I think of you,” Eva says.
- We have a reputation for kindness. On a trip to Germany with her new husband, Harriet Michael heard a fascinating story of American compassion and generosity during a visit with her husband’s high school exchange family. One night after dinner, the host family father, Vati, shared how he was drafted in the German army as a young man during World War II. Toward the end of the war, in the middle of winter, Americans captured Vati. He was convinced he’d be killed or tortured as a prisoner of war. Instead, Harriet shares, “Vati smiled as he said, ‘They did not torture me. They gave me shelter, warm clothes and food.’ His eyes danced as he continued, ‘If I had known this is what it would be like to be captured by the Americans, I would have surrendered much earlier.’”