Where do you stand when it comes to patriotism? New survey may surprise you

Is pride in America slipping among citizens?

NEW ORLEANS -- When it comes to patriotism, where do you stand?

Recent surveys show nearly a third of people were proud to be an American in the years after the 9-11 attacks, but a decade and a half later,  those numbers have been cut in half.

And one of the things Gallup surveys find is that Millennials, those born in the 80s and 90s,  lead the way in the decline of patriotism.

So we took those results and talked to people of all ages celebrating Independence Day at the WWII Museum to see where they stand.

In a packed U.S. Freedom Pavilion, the New Orleans Concert Band played star-spangled salutes and Broadway tunes. The audience came from several states and countries for the free concert.

Two Millennial college students say patriotism is not something their generation talks about.

"Nowadays, everyone's just angry about politics. There's riots everywhere, pro-this, pro-that, anti-this, anti-that. You can't say anything without someone blowing up. Everyone's so sensitive nowadays" said Angelique Graven, 20, and a college student in Tennessee.

And they believe, unlike their parents, the way and speed at which they get information, has made a difference.

"There's a bias in whatever you're reading," Graven continued. "Someone's writing in one scope. Someone's writing in a different scope."

That same survey found that in countries with a high rate of military service, patriotism is also high. And that's what Millennials at the WWII Museum said made a difference.

"I just have to remind my self of the people that serve our country and the freedom that we get from that," said 19-year-old Theone Rizane. She says she avoids politics with her friends because she doesn't like confrontation.

"People my age were fighting in a war that, now-a-days, I can't even image having been called to do something such like that,  so it's a real mind-opening, awe-inspiring for sure," said Caleb Morgan, 19, in town from Florida with a Baptist church youth group to do volunteer community work.

He believes unpatriotic Millennials are taking that stance to rebel against their parents' generation.

But an army veteran who was overseas in Desert Shield and Desert Storm says strangers of all ages thank him for his service when he wears his veteran hat.

"I don't think there's any decline in patriotism. I'm very proud of the way that the younger generation is embracing patriotism," said Staff Sergeant Don Mohler, who is a Baby Boomer.

And a Generation X man from Texas, believes where you grew up makes a difference in your level of patriotism, but it was the museum about The Greatest Generation that strengthened his already solid love for his country.

"This museum, for instance, it really helps you get a new perspective on patriotism. I think mostly because you realize the sacrifice that people made for us," said a choked up Tim Glass.

And who knows if one youngster we talked to a the museum has taken a civics class yet, but somehow the Centennial found it easy to speak out about his pride in the country.

"It's important to me because I wanted to show to other people that I would like to live in this country because I like the rights that we have and I like the fact that we get to vote on our own president," said Nick Urbanic, 13, of Florida. 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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