Liberte' Egalite' Fraternite'

Liberty

Equality

Fraternity

It's the national motto of France and enumerates many values held dear by the United States' founding fathers.

France is our oldest ally, dating to before the American Revolution.

The ideas of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity are under attack in France and in the hearts of people everywhere.

It seems to me the terrorists goal is to scare everyone into our own silos for protection while they scurry around trying to carry-out a misguided and misinterpreted pseudo-theology.

It is terrifying to see horrible images in places we reasonably expect to be places of fun, fellowship, and togetherness.  Concert halls, restaurants, and brightly lit streets in one of the world's most beautiful cities are not where we expect bombs and gunfire.

But the battle for our minds and souls doesn't happen on a level playing field.  And that's one of the most difficult things in this fractured world.

Terror cells aren't countries.  We can't call on the Marines to invade.  The Navy and Armies of the world can attack fortresses, but the midnight black blots of sin related to these horrible nightmares are not confined within geographical boundaries.

Two people side by side could be identical except for the hate and distrust of "others" deep in the heart of one while the other has the same goal for their life and their families as we do.

It's logical for us to react to the displays of hate to want to keep "those people" away from us.  The trouble is, we don't easily know who "they" are.  Barriers we might construct for protection could plant new dark blots in previously hopeful hearts.

Hate breeds hate, but love is stronger.  We may bleed and suffer unspeakable losses, but we fight for freedom and should be defending liberty and equality for our brothers and sisters.

One of the greatest gifts from France to the United States sits in a harbor of New York City.  I think Miss Liberty has some good advice for this great nation during a time of fear and doubt.

New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Emma Lazarus