When I was in Germany from 1976 to 1980, I met some of the nicest, gentlest people I have ever met. They worship their children, and the family is a very important part of their life. They are a very friendly people, and will share a meal with a stranger and go out of their way to help someone stranded on the side of the road with a broken car. I know this because I have experienced it. They really impressed me as a people that have good moral values.
I made it a point to ask older Germans that survived World War II, how they let their country be taken over by Hitler. Almost to a man, they told me that one-day they woke up and it had just happened. They said if a person spoke out against the Nazi's, they were never seen again. They told me again and again that they never saw it coming. A neighbor of mine, told me that his family hated the Nazi's, and that they hid him in the barn under a pile of hay when the soldiers came to the house trying to find young men to put in the army during the last days of the war. They took pitchforks and poked the haystack with them, but he lay still and they missed him and they didn't find him, or he would have been on the other side of the Rhine when Patton came across. and most certainly have been killed. He also told me how they welcomed the allies after being held hostage by the nazi's for over a decade. I never forgot what I was told. Especially the part about waking up one day to see the nazi's in complete control. I heard that from everyone of them.
I am a New Yorker. I was born and raised there. I worked on John Street in Manhattan a few blocks from the World Trade Center. I knew many people that worked there. I have many friends that were and still are (except a few) firefighters and cops. Nobody in this country can say they were angrier than I was when those planes flew into those towers. I volunteered for Afghanistan (I'm still in the reserves), but was turned down because of medical reasons (The truth is, I would never have passed the physical anyway because of a recent illness). The thing that infuriates me the most however, is that those terrorists put us in a position where our rights have been taken away from us in a misguided attempt to shield us from more terror. Not only did the terrorists kill our people; they also scared Americans so much that our citizen's let the Far Right take away our most important human rights.
I served this nation for over twenty years in uniform. There is nobody more patriotic than I. When I see our rights being stripped away from us by politicians that are working not for the people, but for corporations and special interest groups that pay for their election campaigns, it make me ill. To have my constitutional rights taken from me by people that, except for a few individuals, have never served in the armed forces gets me angry. To see the rights that our forefathers gave us by shedding their blood, taken away because of some Arabs with boxcutters is reprehensible. I am ashamed that my countrymen have let these right wing neocons do away with Habeus Corpus, to turn their backs on the Magna Carta, the cornerstone of human rights. The most disgusting part of this is that people that call themselves Christians support them.
Remember what happened in America today. If we all reassess where the direction of this country is heading, then maybe we will vote these people out of office and throw out this bill that this president will sign today. This is the only way we will preserve the heart of America. We must make this country the light of the world...again.