PROFILE OF A PATRIOT
On the front of my house I proudly fly the American flag. I love my country, and I love all of the freedoms my country allows me. Yeah, we all take those freedoms for granted at times. Even I'm guilty of that now and again, I'm not afraid to admit that. You wake up every morning with the ability to choose what you want to do, where you want to go, and how you want to get there, and you just think that's the way it is. That's the way it has always been. We forget about the things we learned in school about our history. We forget about the sacrifices men and women just like you and I made one day to keep the flag flying and keep our fellow Americans safe.
During the War of 1812 24,500 American lives were lost. We lost 110,000 union soldiers in the Civil War. Between WWI and WWII hundreds of thousands more Americans walked onto foreign soil and gave everything to their country. There was the Korean War, Vietnam, the first Gulf War and our present operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. I joined the military during the first Gulf War. My sister did a tour in Iraq with the U.S. Air Force during Operation Desert Storm.
It's when I think of the wars we've fought as a nation, and the sacrifices made by the service men and women and their families, that gives me great pause when I hear Muslim's and Arabs in this country, and even Americans who were born here, get upset when anyone talks about profiling in our nation's airports.
Further Articles of Interest
- Puffed Eggnog Pancakes and the TSA
A funny, but sensible take on just how ridiculous political correctness really is in our nation's airports. Breakfastpop has it spot on.
- The Man in the Arena - April 23, 1910 - Theodore Roosevelt Speeches- Roosevelt Almanac
Speech by Theodore Roosevelt in Sorbonnes, France about the duties and responsibilities of the American citizen.
"But I've got rights," I hear. "It's an invasion of my privacy." "Everyone should be treated equal in America." There's any number of arguments one can cite against the idea of profiling at our airport security checkpoints.
But I go back to those soldiers who died on the battlefields defending everything that is represented by the red, white, and blue stars and stripes we fly. What of their rights? Their pursuit of happiness? They went into battle for their country and gave it all up. Their families will never see them again except in their memories and old photos collecting dust in attics across the nation.
I respect the rights of every single American on our soil whether they were born here or legally immigrated here. But aren't we patriots? Isn't being American more than just having a set of rights or having the freedoms we enjoy? Isn't it more than just flying the flag on the front of your house?
I get that we don't want to alienate the Muslims and the Arabs who have come here. No one wants to be singled out for who they are. I get that too. And no, we don't want to make anyone who wishes to make America their home feel unwanted or as outsiders. But why did they come here in the first place? Didn't they want to become Americans? Didn't they see that American flag waving majestic and proud and have the same feelings conjured up as we do? Do they know the history of this great nation and how it came to be a free and great nation?
There are sacrifices that we have to make as a nation sometimes. Those sacrifices are hard. Sometimes they are painful. And sometimes they are permanent. Each and every day brave men and women put themselves in harm's way to make the country better. To make the country safe. To offer meaning and purpose to the American flag, the Constitution, and the freedoms of the people they represent.
In a way, isn't it the patriotic thing to do as an American Muslim to be willing to step aside for the safety of his fellow Americans and say "I'm willing to give a few extra minutes of my time just to be sure?" Is it a violation of rights? Is it an invasion of privacy?
Or is it simply a contribution to country?
We're all Americans here. We've all had things that we've had to give up since those two towers came down on September 11, 2001. We've all made sacrifices. And some of our freedoms too have been compromised.
And when you get right down to it, isn't profiling already happening? Aren't all Americans being profiled every day by the enemy? By the terrorists who wish to kill us? If an American soldier walks down the streets in Yemen, won't he be profiled as an American? What of a contractor who works in Iraq or in Afghanistan in rebuilding efforts? Isn't he made a target by the flag he flies? By the color of his skin? By his ideology or his religion?
That's profiling just as much as it is at an airport security checkpoint.
If I were a Muslim American who was profiled, I would not feel ashamed or violated. I would feel proud that I have made an important, and patriotic contribution to my country. It's a sacrifice I could live with.