In this time of intense patriotism, who among us is truly ready to risk death for our freedoms? I suspect that many people deeply believe that they are. But which freedoms will they risk death to preserve? The freedom of privacy? Of habeas corpus? Of speech? Of free assembly? Of free expression? The freedom from unreasonable search and seizure? Are we willing to risk death at the hands of terrorists as the price of these freedoms?
I see many people waving our flag and – remarkably – at the same time proclaiming that we must give up our constitutional freedoms in order to be safer. I see members of Congress quick to legislate away our freedoms for our safety. Where is the courage and patriotism in that?
Now that we must chose between safety and freedom, we must not flinch if our flag is to mean anything: The courage of our convictions is being tested by history. We should let our representative know that we are not so fearful as to have them legislate away the freedoms and privacies that other generations have died to give us.
Dennis M. Burke