Flag also represents things Americans should not celebrate
I would like to commend Kurt Kizer for his noble intentions on Sept. 11. Undoubtedly we must all remember what we lost in the wake of the terrorist attacks over two years ago.
It is unfortunate that whoever burned the flag placed on Peak 1 felt that that was the only way to express his or her opinions regarding our government. I know that to Kurt and to others in the community, that flag was meant to be a memorial to all those who sadly lost their lives.
However, the symbol that he chose to represent those lives does not and will never represent only the victims of Sept. 11. It represents many things to many people, but most fundamentally, it stands for the United States of America.
America is a beautiful country with majestic mountains and deep canyons. It is as geographically diverse as any country in the world and the people who inhabit it represent that. As symbolic as our flag is, it cannot convey the beauty of this great land and its people.
There are many symbols that could have been placed atop Peak 1 as a memorial to Sept. 11, and even though I think that the flag can and does represent many great things, it also represents things all Americans should be hesitant to celebrate.
No matter what meaning you apply to the flag, the one thing it has represented for all people is our established government. I think the point the flag burner was trying to make, regardless of whether or not it was the best way to do it, was that the flag is not the best way to memorialize those who tragically lost their lives on Sept. 11.
In fact, the government that the flag represents is the very reason those terrorists chose to attack our country that day. The United States was established by people who knew what an overbearing and corrupt government could do to its citizenry.
If Thomas Jefferson and our other founding fathers could see what our government has done in its imperialistic foreign policy and to our own civil liberties before and in the name of Sept. 11, they would understand why people the world over think so little of our country and our countrymen.
Instead of wasting our resources and our emotions trying to figure out who burned the flag, we should all do what we can to understand why people in this country and abroad think that that flag is not only a symbol for freedom and for the innocent victims of terrorist attacks, but also a symbol of oppression, eradicated civil liberties, international exploitation, and arrogance symptomatic of manifest destiny.
Even though his or her methods were inconsiderate, I think that the person who burned the flag on Peak 1 is a bigger patriot than those who refuse to question the multiple meanings that the flag carries.
To those of you who accused the flag burner of being a terrorist equal to those who carried out attacks on Sept. 11 and who suggest that he or she leave the country, I ask you to understand the motivations behind the act and to work to make our country and our government the best it can be.
I am a patriot who loves my country but knows that our government is far from perfect. I think we should remember those lost and make our government live up to the grand country it represents and to make sure Sept. 11 never happens again.
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