Americanism is more than patriotism

By Mary Kuperus, Americanism Chairman

What is Americanism?
According to the 1925 Americanism Commission of The American Legion, “Americanism is a term of vast, significance. In its large conception, it embraces every phase of an individual’s relation to the community, state and nation.”

Americanism defined in the Americanism Handbook of the Sons of The American Legion:
Americanism is the love of America; loyalty to her institutions as the best yet devised by man to secure life, liberty, individual dignity and happiness; and the willingness to defend our country and flag against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

What does the American Legion Auxiliary say?
The American Legion Auxiliary Unit Guide says the purpose of the national Americanism program is to promote patriotism and responsible citizenship. The Americanism work of the Auxiliary includes all activities that strengthen American ideals and uphold the principles of democracy. The security of America lies in citizens who have a true understanding, love for those ideals and principles upon which the nation was founded, and a willingness to perform these duties even at great personal sacrifice. The work of the Americanism program is educationally based and divided into three phases: work with youth, work with adults, and work within the community. All matters about the flag or patriotic education are rightly classified as Americanism activities.

As an American Legion Auxiliary member, we show Americanism in many ways.
We show our proud heritage of patriotism every day. We do this by remembering or honoring our fellow Americans on patriotic days throughout the year. We participate in many events promoting our American Flag, showing respect by saluting her presence in ceremonies and parades. We participate in flag retirement ceremonies when the flag is not serviceable anymore.
To promote Americanism, we can continue to teach our youth about flag etiquette, teach them the Pledge of Allegiance, and encourage them to learn the history of our veterans and military. The American Legion Auxiliary has a long and vast history of caring for our veterans and promoting Americanism is many ways. Let us continue this history and promote Americanism in our homes, communities, and the world around us.