SOUNDOFF: Eagles, patriots soar together
July 3, 2008 · Updated 11:33 PM
In the early 1970s Americans were angry with their American government. With the war in Vietnam at a miserable end the protests against the war had left Americans confused and weary. The United States had never lost a war before. The citizens seemed to have turned away from the proud patriots they usually are. Almost as if patriotism was on the brink of extinction.
The United States proudest resident, The bald eagle, was on the brink of extinction as well. With only a handful of these magnificent creatures soaring above its lands, they now were an endangered species. Protected by the citizens that once hunted them.
Like its human counterparts, the bald eagle is indeed a special breed. They fly exclusively in the skies of the North American continent. With a wing span so awesome that once you see one soar above you, your mouth will drop open in awe, understanding why they are the United States symbol of freedom.
They are doting parents, raising their young together, laying only one to three eggs at a time, taking turns keeping them warm, rarely leaving the nest unattended.
The eagle is a great provider as well. While its life long mate remains at home keeping the eggs warm or keeping the eaglets safe, its mate uses its keen eyesight and flight speed at up to 65 mph with its dive speed up to 200 mph, snatching prey that can be almost half its weight.
The young stay close to their nurturing parents until they are 12 weeks old and then are ready to spread their wings and fly into their own future.
Building a home for these large birds is no easy task. Returning year after year making improvements by adding soft moss, twigs and feathers. By the time they are finished, their nest is over eight feet in diameter and weighs between one and two tons!
Like the eagle fighting back from the brink of extinction, Americans have fought and won many battles since the 1970s. Helping others in the world to fight for what is important, freedom.
It wasnt until Sept. 11, 2001, that patriotism took center stage once again. Terrorists tried but couldnt break or even weaken the American spirit. Compassion, heroism, strength and their indomitable spirit proved that freedom does not fail.
The patriots of the United States have proven many times throughout history that they will overcome obstacles and flourish. This terrorist attack if anything, made America stronger than ever. That is what freedom does. Simply said, without a country like the United States the world would be profoundly hopeless.
Like patriotism, the bald eagle is soaring in record numbers above its lands once again, building their homes as proudly as its citizens below. A message that patriotism is stronger than ever. And freedom will prevail.
Sandia Jensen lives in Coupeville.