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BY COLUMNISTS

| Joe Charlebois | Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Norman M. Covert | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Edward Lulie III | Tom McLaughlin | Patricia Price | Cindy A. Rose | Richard B. Weldon Jr. |

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The Tentacle


What Kind Of Patriot Are You?

September 16, 2002

On the anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, everyone has become a patriot. Everyone including the marketing executives.

Today you can see people clad in anything from American Flag sandals to handkerchiefs and everything in between. A car not displaying an American Flag, whether it is on the antenna or window, is extremely rare. With all the red, white, and blue whirling around me, I must stop and wonder where were all these flags, these patriots one year and one day ago have gone. How many of us, realistically, had numerous shirts displaying Old Glory? How many of us had even uttered the words of the Pledge of Allegiance since we last attended a sporting event?

Truthfully, I don’t think many of us are patriots. We are instead sheep following the masses, purchasing hundreds of dollars worth of red, white, and blue to prove to ourselves and others that we are patriotic.

I long for the true patriots, the Patrick Henry’s and Sam Adams’ of the modern world. However, such people are being condemned for using rights for which our own forefathers fought. Take for example a college professor who last September 11th made a comment in jest to his freshman history class, in an attempt to lighten many heavy hearts, and was banned from teaching freshman history and received many death threats. And for what? For stating his opinion! (How dare he.)

It seems to me that George Orwell’s "1984" isn’t too far off. Now, if you are a suspected terrorist, the government can tap your phone without a warrant and use this information against you in a court of law. It seems to me that if they have accused you of such atrocities they should have proof enough to obtain a warrant.

The Salem Witch Trials are greatly frowned upon, but it seems we could be living them in the near future. We have many times heard that these violations of civil liberties are for the safety of our nation, for the good of all citizens. However, certain individuals have been embarrassed, ridiculed and even destroyed by such violations.

So, as you drive home this evening in your Jeep Liberty with an American Flag plastered to every window, in your "United We Stand" T-Shirt, ask yourself are you patriotic or are your purchases?

Melissa Covert, Lyndonville, New York


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