Sunday, July 20, 2008


Though it's about 16 days after the big celebration in America we call the 4th of July, Patriotism is on my mind.

Ashley and I took our usual walk on Sunday, and as we were walking back we talked about inspiration. With me being an advertising minor and her with layout and graphic design experience, we talked about where our inspiration comes from.

We began talking about different pieces we've done, and the two that stood out most memorable to the both of us involved invoking strong emotion out of our viewers.

This is Ashley's. It's called "The Hero."

Click the picture for a larger view. Here's me being an analytical and critical graphic designer. I find this works very well because you can't see the faces of the soldier and the boy. Faces give away so many emotions that subtleties in body language and posture can be overlooked. But though you can't see the faces, you understand exactly what's going on, and can make some great inferences. For instance, the dad has a look of relief that he made it through alive, that he can hold his boy again. The boy has a look of affection and longing, like having his dad away from him tore him apart every day.

Next is mine. I call this "The Tick of the Clock"

Again, click for a larger view. While this isn't the final design (I cannot believe I didn't save my old stuff!), I tried to show what was, and now what is. I wanted to find a lesser known quote to show people what it felt like. I spent hours (probably about 5-6 hours) making sure everything was correct, because I could see what I wanted in my mind's eye, but it wasn't coming out on paper.

The one thing we talked about was emotion. In hers, I could see thoughts of her brother-in-law, serving in Iraq, and his son Carter waiting for daddy to get home. I can see the fact that many of our armed service men and women really are the simplest and obscurest, and that's what makes them more amazing to me.

With mine, I chose something that is always going to have a soft spot in my heart. 9/11 brings a flood of emotions out of me, probably because I went on my mission right after it happened. I didn't get caught up in the politics or the conspiracies of it all. As a matter of fact, it still has a very soft spot in my heart 7 years later.

But here's what I want to say about patriotism. Again, I'm not wanting to toot my own horns, but we need to remember what is at the core of patriotism. Emotion is at the core. Why don't we celebrate our soldiers more? Why, when they come home from their service, do we not give them parades and celebrate all that they have done? Sure, we can say that we respect and honor them, but could there be more done?

That's the reason why I love the Anheuser-Busch PSA.

Some may not like it, some may say that it purposely manipulates our emotions. Yet every time I see that, I choke up a little bit. We need to remember that emotion is at the root of patriotism. If you don't feel deeply emotional about your country, especially if you're an American, you may want to research why we are they way we are.

Thank you, Kurtis, for your service. Thank you Grandpa Malone and Roy, for your service. Thank you all you brave men and women willing to stand up for what you believe in, and standing up for your country.


Chelsey&Casey said...

Wow, Brandt. Very interesting point that I don't know if I ever thought of, but I think you are absolutely right! I always assumed patriotism was based on pride for our country, but emotion is probably a better cause. One thing we talked about in a class was "How do we instill patriotism in our children without becoming egocentric?" I think your point on emotion is exactly what will do it.

The Lighthearts said...

Yes, that is exactly what patriotism, love for our country. Could there be a more powerful or truer emotion? Love is what moves us to act in a way that, I believe, no other emotion(not even anger) can. It is utterly selfless.
The best way to show support for our soldiers is by simply showing our patriotism. We do this by keeping intact the freedoms that they have so valliantly fought and died for. Oh, and a simple thank you goes along way, too. :)