Catherine Jun / The Detroit News
It seems the days of robust, flag-waving patriotism seen after the Sept. 11 attacks are gone.
And arguably in its place, a general pessimism about our country has set in: An Associated Press-Ipsos poll of 1,000 Americans last month showed nearly four out of five believed the U.S. was headed in the wrong direction, blaming a prolonged war, soaring gas prices and a divisive presidential election.
But experts say patriotism -- the love of and devotion to country -- is alive and kicking.
In the face of mounting challenges, hope in the country's future still exists in different forms. In order to see it, we have to look past the holiday barbecues and American flag decals and pins.
"Patriotism is not simply supporting whatever those in power say, but also articulating a willingness to oppose for the sake of the country," said Marc Kruman, director at Wayne State University's Center for the Study of Citizenship, which he founded in 2003 with a kickoff conference themed "The Many Faces of Patriotism."
"I don't think Americans are less patriotic today than they were in 2001," he added.
Americans are finding many ways to demonstrate their love for country, from joining political campaigns to organizing peace rallies and venting in the blogosphere. From a former war chaplain to a new U.S. citizen, here's how five Michigan residents show their patriotism:
CLICK HERE for the rest of the story