Town Topics: The nation celebrates Independence Day on July 4. What does patriotism mean to you?

Community By Alexandra Herrera, Reporter Thursday, June 30, 2022

   Alvaro Hernandez, Unincorporated Miami-Dade County,  Retired

      “Patriotism is the honor and dignity that a person has towards a country that has opened the doors to lots of immigrants,” Alvaro Hernandez said in Spanish.  "I’m an immigrant and I have honor for this country I served [in the military]. Not once has it abandoned me in the years I have lived here.” 

Ismo Guzman, Miramar, Retired

     “Patriotism is when [you’re] a part of something, especially when speaking about patriotism for our country, you feel like you belong,” Ismo Guzman said. “This is home, this is where you want to be when all else fails because [it’s a refuge], you have to be proud of it. Especially now and what’s going on now, you feel proud of this country and what it’s done.” 

Martha Mariano,  Miami Lakes, International trade logistics 

     “I’m very grateful to live in this country,” said Martha Mariano. “I arrived [to the United States] in 1972 ... and it means a lot to me.  I love this park [Veterans Park], especially since one of my brothers joined the army in 1974 and is a veteran. He is a proud a veteran."

Gary Cardenas, Palm Springs North, Retired banker

     “Patriotism to me means the love for the country that is your home [and] just like your house, if you don’t take care of your house then you have nothing,” Gary Cardenas said.  “We have to protect patriotism and have to instill that in our youth in every way possible. That’s one of the things that our organization, the American Legion, does in our children and youth program, is instill patriotism. Freedom isn’t always free and it always comes at a high cost."

Angelo Cuadra Garcia,  Miami Lakes, Highway safety technician 

     “[Patriotism] is being loyal to the country that you live in,” said Angelo Cuadra Garcia. “There are many things that I can say ... following the Constitution, being a good citizen, being ethical, being moral.  It is being all of what I [said], standing up for what you believe in, our flag. Too many people died in battle so we can live in freedom. That is the ultimate sacrifice.” 

Reporter Alexandra Herrera interviewed our Town Topics Talkers and photographed everyone except Angelo Cuadra Garcia, who sent his picture along. We thank you all!