BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas — A recent Gallup poll states that American patriotism is at its lowest this year since researchers began measuring in 2001.
Only 38 percent of U.S. adults are 'extremely proud' to be American this year, compared to the tracking average of 55 percent.
KRHD stopped by an Independence Day concert series held at Century Square in College Station, asking why those in attendance still celebrate America today.
“Right now the state of our country could be looked at as very broken, but I think there’s so many generations of patriotism," said Payton Howie, a musician preparing to perform her on patriotic songs on stage.
"A lot of times, I think that we think of the older generation as being more patriotic, but there are so many young patriots up and coming willing to stand up for what they believe in.”
Stacy Lawrence and husband Nate Lawrence, a College Station couple, dropped by Century Square as the first stop on a series of Independence Day celebrations.
“I love the fact that we have the right to worship God freely," Stacy said. "A lot of countries don’t have that privilege. I am so thankful to live in America."
Reuben Salas, a visitor from Tyler, said he particularly appreciates America's history.
“I’ve always loved it growing up, that our forefathers planned on this and it was based on God and faith," Salas said.
Concert attendees acknowledged that the United States has gone through plenty of challenges and upsets in recent years, including the pandemic, economic strife, and political division. People like Marquise Espree, a dad from Bryan, say that they have hope for America’s future, no matter what happens.
“I’m just an optimist," Espree said. "I always believe there’s always something great coming out of the end, the other side. With every down, there’s an upside. And there’s always more upsides than downs.”
After visiting the concerts, KRHD stopped in downtown Bryan to see if anyone was celebrating there. While most of the shops were closed, one person was around to share his thoughts on America. Bryant Bennett is transient in this community and said he’s searching for something. Bennett said he is thankful for the opportunities he feels America has given him over the years.
“Yeah, I can say that I’m proud to be American," he stated. "... Rock on, America.”
Despite the year's troubles so far, and in spite of the afternoon heat, patriotic people were still determined to step outside and celebrate what they believe to be the greatest country on Earth.