What is a Patriot and What is Their Day All About?

What exactly does that word mean though?  Well, it is pretty straightforward actually.  A patriot is someone who is loyal to their country and is strongly supportive of it.  Patriotism is the feeling that a patriot feels.  The word patriot first came to the English language in the Elizabethan era.  You can trace it all the way back to the Greek word πατρίς or patris.  That word means fatherland.  This is the reason that I have always found it a bit odd that some people refer to their country with feminine pronouns.  Most trace back to this word and it is definitely a masculine word.  Hmm….curiouser and curiouser.

In the States we have this fairly new holiday called Patriot Day.  Actually, the full name is Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance.  This holiday was signed into law as being celebrated on September 11 of each year.  Since it is still fairly new, only being celebrated since 2oo2, some people are still not entirely sure how it is celebrated.  Well, it is not a federal holiday.  That means that schools do not close and business do not close unless they just want an excuse to have the day off.  Memorial ceremonies for the victims of the 9/11 attacks are frequently held.  Flags are to be flown at half-staff and are to be shown at the home as well.  At 8:46 A.M. EDT there is a moment of silence that is to be observed.

There you have it.  One of the more common words in today’s American English language turns out to actually be Greek.  We do borrow quite a few words from various languages.  It is quite the hodgepodge of languages.