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Have You Forgotten?
I won't delve into 9/11 conspiracies today. As a native New Yorker, I was only 8 years old when the towers fell. I sat in a classroom, my idyllic world suddenly shattered into countless pieces. My memory of that fateful day remains vivid, and I deliberately refrain from exploiting it for attention or relevance.
Instead, on this day of significance, I wish to address something far more important. Often, I encounter the accusation that I hold bitterness towards America. Many assert that my writings and expressions convey a deep-seated resentment. Yet, my response remains unwavering: "I don't." My love for America runs deep. It courses through my veins, and I have solemnly sworn to protect this nation and its citizens—twice.
It's essential to clarify that my intentions are not to betray my country by shedding light on the crimes committed in its name by those intoxicated by power. Instead, my aim is to aid in its healing process, to rouse it from its slumber. My actions are driven by a profound love for America, a love that compels me to seek justice, transparency, and the betterment of our shared homeland.
It transcends the mere act of composing articles on geopolitics. This is about something far grander—an idea worth defending, a sacred oath I've taken. An oath bound to an idea etched into the very fabric of our Constitution.
This idea possesses the immense power to dismantle tyrannies and topple dictatorships, a beacon of fear for our adversaries, be they concealed in distant deserts or lurking beside the Potomac's edge or gather in a small town in the Swiss Alps.
Emulated by our steadfast allies, this powerful concept is elegantly simple, a truth that resonates with all of us. It's an idea I've pledged to shield and uphold—an idea I've declared myself ready to lay down my life for, ready to endure loss and hardship beyond measure.
So, what is this profound, powerful idea?
It's an idea that says that you and I, regardless of whether we're black or white, it doesn't matter if we're Asian or Indian or no matter what the color of our skin is, it doesn't matter if we're Catholic or Protestant, Muslim or Jew or choose not to believe at all, it doesn't matter if we're male or female, gay or straight or something in between, it doesn't matter what our last name is, it doesn't matter what our country of origin is, it does not matter if we're tall or short, young or old, rich or poor, famous or common.
What matters is that under these colors of red, white and blue, under the stars and stripes, we are all Americans.
And we are all, every one of us, born free and equal.
And we will rise or fall based on our knowledge, our skills, our attributes, our competence and our merit.
And we're going to be judged by the content of our character, not the color of our skin, our gender, sexuality, or beliefs.
That is the organizing concept, the core principle, the idea that as American, codified in our constitution, I have sworn to protect and defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and that I will never turn my back on that constitution, no matter what the price.
This idea should beat within the hearts and souls of every airman, soldier, sailor, marine, and coast guardsman, and every other American. It's the very essence I've chosen to champion every single day. I have always defended this nation—I still do.
Today, we celebrate this idea—a timeless beacon of freedom that shall guide us forward.