When did we become so afraid? A country born in revolution, tested by a civil war, and bloodied on the battlefields of the Ardennes, Bastogne, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Chosin Reservoir, Hue, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
When did this country, blended of people from all over the world, the sum of the parts being greater than the whole, lose its heart?
When did this country, once willing to risk everything in its pursuit of democracy, once challenging itself to put a man on the moon, once serving as a beacon to the world, willing to bear the brunt of supporting the rights of all to be free, become afraid?
Are we so fearful of our inability to sustain and protect ourselves that we would turn our back on the downtrodden and oppressed?
Those who have been born here often forget the words that greet those who came here through the gateway of Ellis Island…
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
Are these words that have inspired millions to risk it all for the opportunities of freedom meaningless?
Are they just words?
The opportunities of freedom so cherished by this country bear an obligation. Those that embrace freedom for themselves must be willing to bear the burden of supporting those that seek freedom.
I was raised to believe in an America that stood for something. An America that was willing to put actions to words and fight for all those that seek freedom and against those that would oppress us.
The Syrian refugees are the latest in a long line of oppressed seeking help. The idea that the United States of America is incapable of extending our protections to them as well as protecting ourselves from those forces of oppression is disheartening.
Xenophobia is a fever which has plagued mankind since the dawn of time. We are better than that. We are smarter than a bunch of illiterate zealots masking their craving of power with a distorted view of Islam. The very idea that we need to deny freedom from oppression to thousands of refugees because it involves risk is pathetic.
Where is our American pride? Where is our courage to do what is right, not because it is easy, but because it is hard?
Where has the America I grew to love, respect, and believe in gone?
I am not a religious person. I often poke fun at religion, but it is only because of the certainty which some of the faithful promote the particular faith. No one has a lock on the truth, but everyone is entitled to choose their belief, without compelling others to adopt this.
The Islamic terrorists misuse religion in their quest for power. We are smarter, stronger, tougher, and better than that.
There’s a line from J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye- “If Christ could see Christmas, he’d puke….”
I dare say if Mohammed could see what’s being done in his name, and our fear to do something about that, he’d have the same reaction.
A thousand years from now, if mankind can survive, those studying our history will remember more what we failed to do, than what we chose to do.
The America I love is better than that.