My generation has lost

the spark of patriotism

God bless America, the land that I love. As a 15-year-old born into a generation in which others my age won't even say the Pledge of Allegiance voluntarily, I find myself dreaming of a time that existed not so long ago.

I dream of a time when national pride was a common quality bonding every citizen together. Every now and then I get glimpses of it. Like in the minutes before a ball game when a singer belts out the national anthem, and an entire stadium rises, caps drawn to their chests, simply proud to be Americans. I see it in the days after a tragic act of violence, when every citizen of this nation mourns the loss of citizens they might never have met. I see it in the homecomings of our heroes who have given so much for America.

It is in those moments that I get a glimpse of what it was like when my grandparents were young, and patriotism so powerful it changed the world was alive and thriving. I know that love for our glorious nation is still there, and I have to question what changed that made our generation hide our love of our country, only to be brought out in certain circumstances.

I understand times are tough. I know we are very deep in debt, and our government is dangerously divided. But the ideas on which this nation was built have not changed. The idea that all people are created equal and given at birth certain rights that can't be taken away from them still rings true in this nation and is certainly something to be proud of.

The generations that preceded ours loved America and weren't hesitant to show it, and I truly fear that my generation won't do the same. I encourage the teenagers of my generation to help me reignite the flame of patriotism that has all but been extinguished. The love of our nation is the only thing that will allow us to bring America to her former position of glory for all eternity.

CHELSEA SMITH

Millville

Pedestrians in O.C.

misunderstand law

I work in Ocean City and drive from 9th Street to 34th Street six days a week, and I cannot believe what I see. Pedestrians do not look to see if it is safe to walk out into the street. They just enter the crosswalk and assume that cars are going to stop, even if cars are not at a safe stopping distance from the crosswalk.

Another problem is that cars stop for pedestrians who are just standing on the corner and allow them to cross the street. They assume that the car behind them is paying attention and will also stop in time.

Pedestrians and drivers must be educated on the law before another tragedy occurs. Pedestrians must be in the crosswalk for cars to be required to stop, and pedestrians are required to look carefully before entering the crosswalk.

DAN MATTHEWS

Egg Harbor Township

No, pit bulls are not

like any other dog

Regarding the June 28 letter, "Dog story too quick to blame pit bulls":

I do agree that the blame is on the negligent owner in the recent incident in Absecon. But the writer feels that pit bulls are stereotyped as having a propensity for aggression. He says they are just like every other dog.

Is it just a stereotype? Pit bulls have bitten, mauled and disfigured more people than other dogs. And how many other dogs have been brutally killed by pitbulls?

Sorry, but this is the result of selective breeding and genetic predisposition.

Pit bulls are most certainly not like every other dog, in my opinion.

LISA GOODWIN

Absecon

Little Egg seniors old

- but they can count

Little Egg Harbor Township is touting a small decrease in the original proposed increase in the municipal tax rate - an increase of 3.9 cents is now a 2.29 cent increase per $100 of assessed evaluation.

The township is trying to pass this along as a savings. But the new municipal rate is 54.5 cents, which is an increase from 52.3 cents. To call this a decrease is just a play on words.

An increase is an increase. Little Egg seniors may be old, but they are not senile, and they know they will be paying more.

ART MOONEY

Little Egg Harbor Township