EDITORIAL: Security is vital at Dulles Airport, but so are our freedoms
The sweeping arches of Eero Saarinen’s masterpiece of modern architecture stir us to take flight, pursue our sense of adventure and then return to the familiar embrace of home. Whether traveling on business, vacationing or visiting family, we arrive at a sanctuary -- Dulles Airport’s soaring terminal.
Dulles comforts us with the assurance that everything is OK. Or will be, now that we’re home. Who hasn’t felt the love when friends and families reunite after passing through the arrival portal? We live in an extraordinary place. It’s good to be home.
Some now say that an executive order restricting entry for those from predominantly Muslim countries protects us from complacency. They contend we must be increasingly vigilant about the threat of terrorism and protecting America’s borders.
Of course we must be vigilant. We support reasonable measures to keep us secure and to keep possible terrorists out. Who among us does not value the elaborate precautions, most beyond our awareness, on Dulles’ uber-security mezzanine? And, yes, we will stand in line as long as it takes to ensure personal safety as well as the safety of our families, neighbors and colleagues.
We also support additional security measures in customs to make traveler screening more comprehensive by strengthening existing protocols and information-sharing systems.
Dulles Airport is our Statue of Liberty. 60,000 passengers pass through it daily to and from more than 125 destinations around the world. More than a destination, the airport is an operating system for freedom, a portal for those who seek to share the values and freedoms of America.
In only a few days, a misguided order has tarnished our monument. It has put Dulles Airport at the center of an international drama over rights and security. It has compromised and insulted students, teachers, scholars, scientists, doctors, nurses, tech workers, diplomats, developers and many more who live and work here.
Those who hastily put the order into effect say that it makes the country safer. But now it has become apparent even to them that it is having a different effect.
The world is angry and confused over what has happened at our airport, our Statue of Liberty. And so are we. In Loudoun County, we have a special obligation to ensure that our citizens and neighbors are as free as possible from discrimination.
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