Wake Up, America!!!
By: Guest Authors
By: Rebecca Giltner
As our country continues to be carried along by this crisis, all common sense seems to be fleeing. Blame is being thrown freely, and previous administrations are being bashed for mistakes far beyond the ones actually made. As I watch the crime rate soar daily, and see high speed chases and mass shootings at a rate never seen before in America, it makes me think back to September 11, 2001.
I remember turning on the TV, and watching in shock as flames shot from one of the towers, almost unable to believe this was happening in my country, to my fellow Americans. I watched in horror as people dove from windows to escape the fires, and another plane came into view, smashing into the other tower. I remember the huge ball of fire and glass exploding more graphic than any action movie. In that moment of terror, I realized what my country means to me, and what sacrifice had bought the rights I grew up with. I have never been so humbled. In that moment America came together. We all wanted the same thing- safety for the people in New York, safety for our families, and we stood behind a president we respected. He spoke of God, and prayers, and we listened.
For a few months after, America stood as one, more cohesive than I have ever seen in my lifetime. No one was ashamed of their faith, and disagreements seemed so insignificant in the big picture. Everyone worked together to rescue human life, and restore confidence in our way of life that so many of us had taken for granted. Eight short years later, we are more torn than ever before. No one can agree, everyone is out to blame instead of fix, and I am left wondering how we have completely wasted all that we learned from the most horrible terrorist attack on American soil in history.
America, we need to wake up. This is still fresh, and should be in every one of our minds. Our economy is a mess, our leaders are not acting as they were elected to, but more importantly our way of life is at stake. I am not an alarmist, but how dare anyone call a terrorist anything other than a terrorist? These are not enemy combatants. That implies some discretion or proper military training. Do not equate my American soldiers with the terrorists who destroyed the lives of thousands of my fellow Americans eight short years ago. Suddenly, we are not a Christian country. Have we now lost another right along this treacherous path? A majority of America is Christian. Look at facts. I have no beef with other faiths. It is part of what I love about my country. It is part of what every American should love about our country. We are tolerant. We are allowed to debate politics without fear. Unfortunately we seem to be forgetting that it is, in fact our country. Not our government’s country.
We are a democracy*, yet we are allowing our government to dictate who we are or aren’t, and what we call our enemies. I am very concerned that Christians can’t pray because it might offend someone, yet Muslims can pray at appointed times due to freedom. Our constitution quotes parts of the bible, yet only Islam and the Koran, and their histories are taught in our schools. This is not equality- it is pure prejudice to acknowledge some faiths, and not others. Are we free, or are we trapping ourselves by calling it tolerance? This is not just about our economy. It is not just about tax, or government pay offs, or even ridiculous bonuses given to corrupt CEOs- these are all symptoms of the bigger problem. WE are a country built on laws that are for our good. We are based on integrity, honesty in business and personal lives, and upholding our laws, yet as our values decline, so does America. We are responsible for holding particularly our elected officials to the highest standards. They represent us to the rest of the world. We have choosen them to speak for us, and present an image of America to others who may never see this great country. We must remember that united front we found in 2001. We need unity now more than ever, and we need tolerance, but not just for some. Every person of every varied background contributes to this country. It is a time to see past small differences, and stand up for our country as a whole.
I am not proud of our current image. I am not proud of those who we elected to carry out duties to this country, who instead are acting on their own interests. We are allowing this to continue, and until we remember the lessons we have learned, and stand together, with a single purpose of uniting our country and returning our values to those which matter, we will continue down our current path of loss, crime, anger,greed, and demise.
It doesn’t matter what faith you believe in, or what ethnic heritage you claim. Ultimately we are all Americans, and as such, we must stand up for what this country was built on.
* Editor’s Note: America is a Republic and not a Democracy. There is a difference and even the founding fathers stated such. Although these two words are often used interchangeably, it is important to note the difference.