I encourage everyone who visits this blog to read this in its entirety.
I’ve avoided commenting on this subject for a number of reasons. But things have gotten so out of hand that I decided to enter the fray. So here goes.
In the winter of 2001 about three months after 9/11 I traveled to Normandy to visit the D-Day beaches and the American Cemetery and Battle Memorial. It was a profound experience. Men – mostly boys really – so much younger than I was then (25) died taking those beaches. Almost all of the soldiers in the first wave were killed or mounded. There was nothing between them and the German guns. When you stand on the beach and look up at where the German bunkers were you can’t help but shiver. To be on that beach on that day was to be death.
But they prevailed. They took the beach. And then, one town at at time, they took France and marched all the way into Berlin. My father, a native of Lyons, was 13 years old on D-Day. After his parents were carted off to their deaths in a concentration camp in 1942 he became part of the French Resistance. He did and saw terrible things to survive. He helped American troops find their way around and pointed out German positions. He saw men get kill and be killed.
These soldiers died to end a war. They died to stop Hitler’s war machine. Say what you will about America in the 1940’s, but America stepped up, got involved and ended WWII (quite convincingly). The Cemetery at Normandy is a living memorial to the Americans who died not only on D-Day but throughout WWII.
On September 14, 2001 my mother decided that we were going to walk to Ground Zero. My dad and I thought this was a terrible idea but she insisted. We got as close as we could, about ten blocks away. The devastation was amazing. We saw burning wreckage, cars flattened like pancakes hundreds of police, fireman, soldiers and EMT’s. It was still very chaotic. I don’t know why she wanted to go down there but she said she just wanted to get as close to it as she could. My mom and I are native New Yorker’s. Our home had been attacked and she needed to see it. I will forever be grateful that she made us walk down there. Seeing it in person provided a perspective that was impossible to get via television.
Many people who use 9/11 as an excuse for their politics or as a basis for their arguments were not affected by 9/11. I knew no one who died on 9/11. I am very lucky. But New York City, Manhattan, is my home. It is the only home I have ever had. And people attacked it. They also attacked the Pentagon in Washington, DC and would have done more damage if not for the heroic efforts of the passengers on United Flight # 93. America was not attacked. ”America” was attacked. And the proxy was New York and Washington, DC. Alaska was not attacked. Alabama was not attacked. Mississippi was not attacked. Arizona was not attacked. Minnesota was not attacked.
I am tired of people using what happened to my city as the basis for their hate. I am tired of people so fundamentally misinterpreting our Constitution and Bill of Rights. I am tired of people turning the word “Muslim” into the word “terrorist.”
We are coming dangerously close to a point in our history where those who died on D-Day and are buried in French soil at Normandy died for naught. Those men saved my dad. Those men defeated a tyrant. Those men died to ensure others could have the freedoms it is so often said we take for granted. It is our duty, our most important job as citizens, to make sure their sacrifice continues to be for the cause of freedom, justice and acceptance.
We need to take a stand. We need to stop this madness. I will fight to protect what America stands for at all costs. If I have to stand in front of that Mosque with a shotgun so young Muslim children can safely pray to their God, I will. We are allowing a scary and dangerous faction to control the course of our society. If it takes force to stop them, then this is what we must do. The stakes are too high. It is time rational people took a stand. It is time Americans took a stand.
The Misconception: If you stop engaging in a bad habit, the habit will gradually diminish until it disappears from your life.
The Truth: Any time you quit something cold turkey, your brain will make a last-ditch effort to return you to your habit.