I was unashamed of the tears that fell while watching the father of a young soldier describe the sacrifice his son made for America the other night. Khizr Khan, a Muslim immigrant, spoke with pride at the Democratic Convention and I couldn’t help but see my father in him and the love all parents felt for children called by our nation to defend it.
Captain Humayun S.M. Khan died while saving the lives of his troops a dozen years ago in Iraq. He protected his men as any true-blue American soldier would do when facing the enemy.
The young man, an ROTC commissioned officer, had come to the United States when he was two years old and grew up as American as anyone born in the Bronx or in New Orleans. He stood in harm’s way for people of all color, religion and political persuasion, never flinching when a radical driving a truck with suicide bomb threatened to kill his troops. Capt. Kahn slowly walked toward the bomber, taking ten steps that prevented the vehicle from hitting anyone except himself.
He died and was laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery shortly after and awarded a Bronze Star.
His father chastised the man who had been belittling people like the army captain in a talk that will long be remembered in politics of our nation.
“Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He vows to build walls and ban us from this country. Donald Trump: You’re asking Americans to trust us with their future. Let me ask you, have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy!
“In this document, look for the words ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection of law.’ Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America. You’ll see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities.
“You have sacrificed nothing! And no one!”
Yes, I cried. But I also vowed to do everything I can to prevent someone like Trump to ever destroy the country my immigrant father came to call home.
I’m going to do it out of love.