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Home of the Brave


Since the tragic act of terrorism in France on November 15, 2015, the worst and best of humanity has surfaced. Many selfless brave acts were performed by French citizens and first responders to save lives and to rescue the injured during and after the massacre of 129 people.  President Obama reiterated our long standing commitment to stand by our oldest allies. However, the ugliness of bigotry and hate against all Muslims has also surfaced, especially in the United States.

Numerous violent threats against law abiding Muslims and threats to bomb their Mosques have spread throughout the nation.  Home grown terrorism in our own country is on the rise. A gang of 31 United States governors shamefully announced that they do not welcome Syrian refugees to our shores and will ban them from entering their states. These governors are protesting the admission of Muslim refugees. From Alabama and Georgia, to Texas and Arizona, to Michigan and Illinois, and to Maine and New Hampshire, these governors have promised to deny Syrian refugees residence.  Even legal immigrants seeking asylum from war are not welcome, according to these Republicans governors.  How sadly ironic; the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France.  And, affixed to Lady Liberty is a plaque that reads, "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 tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door"

During WWII, it took bravery and compassion for the Danish people to grant asylum and shelter to the Jews.  In the face of a violent Nazi reaction, the Danish stood by their Jewish citizens.  They did it because it was simply the right thing to do. The people of Denmark knew the risks they faced. They knew this would threaten  their own security.  However, they did what they believed was right.  Is that kind of bravery alive and strong in the land of the free? Have the terrorists scared Americans out of their convictions?  Is this only one reason Islamophobia running rampant in our nation? Or, do we have a segment of our society that is infected with bigotry and seek to make their nation pure, white, and Christian. Are we on the precipice of that kind of fascism that preceded the rise of Nazism? 

Donald Trump had initially stated that the United States was obliged to take more Syrian refugees because, "they?re living in hell, and something has to be done." Since the terrorist strike on France, his seeming compassion has vanished.  He now says, "we should not take more refugees due to security concerns."  This kind of cowardice is shameful to look upon. He concluded, "From a humanitarian standpoint, I'd love to help, but we have our own problems".  What a sad show of character!

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, loyal and law abiding Japanese-American men, women, and children were shipped off to local concentration camps in America. Under the label of "security concerns" too many crimes against humanity have occurred.  Front-runner Republican presidential candidate, Ben Carson, initiated an online petition opposing the admission of Syrian refugees. Carson announced, "I've sent a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to terminate all public funding for any ongoing federal programs that seek to resettle refugees and/or migrants from Syria into the United States, effective immediately."  

The terrorists are winning this war, not by the numbers they kill or maim; they are winning because too many of us are allowing  our fears to replace our highest ideals. Our excuses for cowardice and bigotry are as numerous as campaign promises. Our nation is becoming devoid of value and conviction. This will not make America great again. 

Sung at almost every sporting event in the United States is the Star Spangled Banner. The lyrics allude to one question that every American should answer: "Does that star - spangled banner yet wave...O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?"



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