Perhaps the most loyal thing a patriot can do for his or her country is to point out its flaws.
Even before this country’s Independence Day, people were at work to form a union that was imperfect at its start and remains so today. Some of its many flaws have been corrected, even as new flaws have been revealed.
We have imperfect patriots to thank for forming this nation and for helping this nation improve itself. Flawed people of conscience and courage have helped a young nation see itself as it was and also as it could become.
Some patriots have been famous, a few infamous, but most unrecorded in any historical account as they lived and labored in ways that improved their local community and, unknowingly, contributed to change they might not have imagined possible, improving everything from race relations to recycling to renewable energy.
This nation’s patriots are not merely those who lived at the birth of this nation. Every generation has had patriots who have been as important for nation-building as those in the 1700s. Patriots are found in and out of government. In homes and places of worship. They are found in the for-profit business world and in nonprofit organizations.
When, out of sincere loyalty, a person brings constructive criticism to a cause, that person helps to build and better the enterprise. It is as true of this imperfect organization as it is of our nation.