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Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project

What is patriotism? Does it change after someone EXPERIENCES war? Every generation seems to redefine patriotic behavior. In the aftermath of recent terrorism and war, Americans are faced with how to think about freedom and how to protect it. Does patriotism mean displaying the flag or practicing dissent or both? Our veterans challenge us with provocative questions on the nature of patriotism and highly personal answers.

Featured Story: Violet Hill Gordon
Image of Women Soldiers Saluting

"This was such a bold step..."

Before Violet Hill Gordon enlisted during World War II, she was supervising a stenographic pool in the State Civil Service in Chicago. Her best friend, Mildred Osby, urged her to join the Women’s Auxiliary Army -- a bold move, especially given the segregation of the time. Gordon not only joined up, but also became a commanding officer in the 6888th Central Postal Directory.

Go to Violet Hill Gordon's StoryGo and experience
Violet Hill Gordon's story
Experience more Stories of Patriotism more stories

"Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime."       -- Adlai Stevenson

Chuck Hagel - story

"I got a phone call from a friend of mine..."

Rep. Steve Buyer's story

Image of Rep. Thomas Carper

"...I loved what we did. I never gave up..."

Sen. Thomas Richard Carper's story

Rep. Joe Baca - story

"And I think…it was the best thing..."

Rep. Joe Baca's story

Image of Isabelle Cook

"Proceed immediately to Camp Rucker, Alabama..."

Isabelle Cedar Cook's story

Image of James Walsh

" bowels twisted me green..."

James Walsh's story

Image of Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman

"My father and mother came from Austria-Hungary..."

Benjamin A. Gilman's story

"It is not unseemly for a man to die fighting in defense of his country."
      -- Homer
  Home >> Patriotism
  The Library of Congress
  October 21, 2004
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