I have never been as proud of what it means to be an American as I was when I watched how we responded as a nation on 9/11 and how we continued to come together as a country. It was a moment in history when we were all One Nation Under God, Yahweh, Elohim, and Vishnu. We were one Nation for the believer and the non-believer alike. Our politicians stood side by side with our President and put away childish behavior and remembered what it meant to be a Patriot. Young men and women marched off to war. They volunteered; rich and poor, children of Senators and Governors, professional athletes and promising college students, and citizens and immigrants not yet citizens. They did it because they recognized a common enemy and he was evil. Yet war did not kill the evil and removing the many heads only seemed to result in its spread and each time coming back as something more evil that what had existed.
Our policies failed. Neither the Bush or Obama administrations headed the advice of others. They believed we could fight evil with violence and in return the evil spread.
Now the evil has attacked our oldest friend. Instead of being proud of our response I’m unsure if I’m shocked, disappointed, or disgusted. Politicians rather than supporting our President publically ridicule him. One hopeful Presidential candidate suggested the solution to the problem in Paris was for all the people to have guns and yet the emergency room physicians said they rarely see more than one gunshot wound a year. Every two days in the U.S. we have more people killed with guns than were killed in the ISIS terrorist attack in Paris. Our political hopefuls and many of our citizens rather than wanting to help suggest we impose the same plague on France we have imposed on ourselves.
Simultaneously, this Jihadist plague that is reminiscent of the Nazis is killing people by the thousands in predominantly Islamic countries. The majority of their victims are Muslims and now those people are fleeing for their very lives. There was a day when we looked back on our unwillingness to save more Jew during WWII due to anti-Semitism and said never again. Yet here we are with the opportunity to redeem ourselves, and again many of the Governors and our citizens are cowering in fear, unwilling to save those fleeing terror, and wanting to reinstitute the type of policy that was a national embarrassment by closing off immigration to those who are being killed and tortured. Racism is not a legitimate policy. Whether we call it anti-Semitism or Islamophobia the result is the same. Driven by fear we are willing to let the innocent die.
Land of the free and home brave is dead if we let those filled with fear continue to make policies that do not respect life and there is no respect for life in an individual that would lock the door and leave the weak outside with the terrorists.
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”