Proud to be An American

by John E. Carey

First Published Online: June 23, 2007
Republished on July 4, 2007

Some things we see every day and we take them for granted or pay little or no attention. But by noticing some of the things and news reports in our daily life, we might just get a better appreciation for who we are as a people.

A block or so from my house there is a triangular, yellow street warning sign that reads: “Blind Pedestrian.” My Vietnamese-born wife said one day as we passed: “Only in America.” She said she couldn’t imagine the caring for the safety of one individual in more crowded nations like India, Vietnam or China.

That sign speaks to the importance we put into every single citizen and every single soul.

A news report this week had the headline: “U.S. searching for Iwo Jima Marine.”

The seven-member search team — the first on the island of Iwo Jima in 60 years — is looking for the remains of Sgt. William H. Genaust, who was killed in action after filming the flag-raising atop Mount Suribachi 62 years ago. This is another indicator of the care and love we Americans devote to every life. I am amazed occasionally to read about the discovery and reburial with honors of some soldier lost 100 years ago or more.


U.S. Marines of the 28th Regiment, 5th Division, raise the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, on Friday, Feb. 23, 1945. On Monday, June 18, 2007, Japan changed the name of the Pacific island of Iwo Jima, site of the famous World War II battle, to its original name of Iwo To after residents there were prodded into action by two recent Clint Eastwood movies. (AP Photo/Joe Rosenthal, file)

In Chaleston this week, nine firefighters died in the line of duty trying to save other lives and property not their own. They were all heroes. Firefighters came from all over this nation to honor those lost and to embrace their families.

Caskets are arranged in a row during a memorial service in North Charleston, S.C. on Friday, June 22, 2007 for the nine firefighters killed in a blaze in Charleston last Monday.

In Ohio this morning, about 600 volunteers turned out to search for a nearly nine months pregnant woman who has gone missing. This is the third day of the search and thousands of strangers have volunteered their time and their effort to find this one lost soul. Ned Davis, the father of 26-year-old Jessie Davis, begged volunteers to continue their efforts –which they were doing without complaint.

And on Friday a U.S. Navy AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense ship, other elements of the Missile Defense Agency’s Missile Defense Sytem and a Spanish Navy AEGIS completed a complex missile defense test including shooting down a ballistic missile over the Pacific Ocean.

And on Capitol Hill and in the White House this week, the president of a communist country was confronted on his nation’s record on human rights, freedom of religion and repression of dissidents.

This also made me proud to be an American — that our leaders put human rights on the agenda with Vietnam — a situation that obviously caused the Vietnamese communists uneasiness and perhaps “loss of face” or some modicum of shame.

When confronted, President Triet of Vietnam was, according to a Congressman who participated, “evasive.”

Triet told reporters that he and Bush had a “direct and open exchange” on human rights but offered no indications that he intended to do anything as a result of the discussion.

“We are also determined not to let those differences afflict our overall, larger interest,” he said.

President Triet reiterated that his country did not need to improve human rights.

“It’s not a question of improving or not,” Triet said in an interview with The Associated Press, hours after meeting with Bush. “Vietnam has its own legal framework, and those who violate the law will be handled.”

“The Vietnamese laws could not be 100 percent the same as the United States laws, due to the different historical backgrounds and conditions,” Triet said through an interpreter.

“There is a different understanding on this issue.”

President Triet insists upon defending an indefensible and shameful set of practices and conditions in Vietnam. He didn’t even sound convinced of the shameful communist party line himself.

We predict that if Vietnam continues its repressive human rights record, it will suffer a financial toll.

Communist Vietnam’s proven method
of silencing a prisoner. Father Ly just
before he was removed from court. He
had no representation at trial.

A word on heroes, American culture, and John Wayne:

“John Wayne reigned as one of Hollywood’s kings for nearly 40 years, and his support of his country’s war efforts — from American settlement of the West to stopping Communism both here and abroad — got him into trouble as the nation’s ideas about patriotism took a sharp turn to the left. …

“[W]hy then is there no John Wayne today? Anyone who surveys the current scene and is old enough to remember the days of the Duke surely knows the answer. The sublime Katharine Hepburn summed it up more eloquently than anyone:

” ‘John Wayne is the hero of the ’30s and ’40s and most of the ’50s. Before the creeps came creeping in. Before — in the ’60s — the hero slid right down into the valley of the weak and the misunderstood. Before the women began dropping any pretense to virginity into the gutter. With a disregard for truth, which is indeed pathetic. And unisex was born. The hair grew long and the pride grew short. And we were off to the anti-hero. John Wayne survived all this.’ “

Lisa Fabrizio, writing on “The Duke of America,” June 27 in the American Spectator Online at

John Wayne

John E. Carey is former president of International Defense Consultants Inc.

This entry was postedon Wednesday, July 4th, 2007 at 10:13 amand is filed under Fourth of July, July Fourth, American values, American history, patriotism, United States, America, American.You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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