Letter: Defending Patriotism

I write today as a proud American in response to the inflammatory remarks made by one student regarding actions taken by this nation since September 11 entitled “Hypocritical Patriotism (Sept. 9, p.4).”

The bitterness in the writing obscures the truth. A primary instance is the calumnious misquote of Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff. The statement, made in reference to detainees investigated for terrorist ties, was as follows: “There are people who are in custody being detained pursuant to immigration violations, and let’s be clear, those are people who have essentially overstayed their welcome in this country.”

I understand the error. I noticed that the author was a freshman, and was seeking to share an opinion on a tragedy that touched us all. Perhaps seeing on television the ruins left in wake of September 11 was not as difficult for the writer as it was for others. For us proud Americans at GW, it was heart wrenching. We saw what happened first hand. We remember, and always will remember, the tear-jerking sight of the Pentagon in flames. We remember the screams on television as the World Trade Center fell. We understand the pain the heroes on Flight 93 must have felt as they saved others by sacrificing their own lives.

One year ago, the GW community lit candle vigils and said prayers for those that were lost. And now, one year later, we again gather to commemorate their lives, the loved ones they left behind, and the nation that has brought freedom to more than just you and I. That is why GW seeks to celebrate a “freedom fair” with a “giant American flag.” Do not harbor spite towards my fellow Americans for their love of freedom and their love of fellow man. We neither spit in your face nor throw rocks in your windows. If patriots did not stand up in defense of freedom, it might be different.

-Pietro M. deVolpi

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