A few days ago, we celebrated Flag Day. A few days before that, we celebrated Memorial Day.
And, a few days from now, we will celebrate July 4th. For my whole entire life, all of these special patriotic commemorative occasions have meant so much to me and they still do. However, I am beginning to wonder if these special patriotic flag waving moments still mean what they used to mean to Americans as a whole. In my opinion (and the opinion of many others), the America that we live in today is a truly and vastly different America from the America of years past….in so many ways….and not all of the ways are good!
America… land of the free….home of the brave!! This phrase is so true and shall forever more be true as long as our country endures. Certainly, our country was founded upon these beliefs. Our country was also founded upon beliefs in God, moral values and a belief that we (as American citizens) have certain inalienable rights according to our Constitution. Among these rights is the the right/freedom to have our own opinion. Of course, I (along with a huge majority of Americans) defend these rights in any and all cases. And of course, I vehemently defend and respect freedom of the press and free speech. Our rights and freedoms are a blessing….a gift…and should be respected as such at all times, However, in so many ways, things seem to have totally run amuck.
A couple of weeks ago (on a Friday night), a gunman in an armored vehicle (a vehicle that he purchased online) attacked the Dallas, TX police headquarters. Upset over his belief that police officers caused him to lose the custody of his child, the gunman’s obvious intent was to kill police officers. The next morning, a reporter/commentator on a national 24/7 news channel called the gunman courageous and brave. Are you kidding me??? Is this really the America in which we live today? A person that attacks those that give so much to us all, a person that attacks those that constantly place their lives on the line for all of us so that we may enjoy the lives that we live, a person that attacks those that keep us safe and protected…. a person such as this is called courageous and brave! No way. Not in America. This can’t be true!
Furthermore, recent incidents and claims of police brutality (whether true or untrue) have now caused an entire reckless abandon when it comes to comments being made by some of our national leaders and some members of our national media. In many cases, some of our national political leaders, entertainment leaders/stars and media members are spewing anti-police rhetoric. These words can cause protests, etc. and more importantly, these words can inspire disturbed people to do bad things. Random attacks upon police and law enforcement are taking place all across our country. Two police officers shot (gunned down/assassinated) while in their police vehicle in New York City. This is horrible! It is also horrible that there was no national outrage over this incident. There was no call from our national political leadership that this type of behavior must stop! No call that this type of behavior will not be tolerated….or else!
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security are now having to put out bulletins warning
police that they may be attacked by persons inspired by this anti-police rhetoric. Seriously?? This is what our country has dwindled to?? There is absolutely no excuse or intelligent reasoning for this. This is absolutely reprehensible! There is no urgency or any type of condemnation from our national leadership in relation to these despicable and horrible attacks against our law enforcement agencies. As such, this tells certain individuals that this type of behavior will be both accepted and tolerated in America. And as I mentioned above, those individuals performing and conducting such despicable acts are even praised and admired by certain individuals on a national platform. Unbelievable!! Truly unbelievable!!
Let me ask those applauding such actions this question, where would we be, what quality of life would we enjoy, without our law enforcement officials who sacrifice their lives, their personal safety and the futures and safety of their own families? Our law enforcement officials do all of this for us, for our safety and protection. Through the years of our country’s existence, so many have both fought and died for our freedoms and the rights that we enjoy (lives lost by protecting us both militarily and in law enforcement). And this is how we repay them?? By applauding such cowardly acts of idiocy vocally and accepting these cowardly acts by a silent lack of response? Really? Wake up America!
Randy Brown is Publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org