When I was in the 3rd grade, my dad took me to Bring your kids to work day for the first time. I vividly remember 2 things standing out from that first visit:

1. The propaganda style poster hanging in his cubicle with the words:

First shot, first kill

(This was a poster celebrating Raytheon’s Exostmospheric Kill Vehicle or EKV. Does it remind you of the Iron Dome?)

2. The largest American flag I had ever seen (to this day I haven’t seen a larger one) hanging in the cafeteria to greet you before breaking bread with your colleagues.

Patriotism in every corner.

A reminder of why these people come to work every day.

As you might guess, my dad works for a defense contractor. My parents may not share views on religion, politics or guns; but both have deep rooted patriotism for our country.

And patriotism is what unifies us (people in general) in the face of tragedy and horrific acts of violence as seen in yesterday in Boston; just over a decade ago on September 11th, and just last week in memory of Yom HaShoah. Nothing brings us to holding our loved ones dear in the face of monsters like these grim reminders.

Well, that’s nice isn’t it?

No really.

That’s nice, but it still sucks.

The fact that we have to keep such horrific memories alive just to remind ourselves of what an unchecked evil looks like, is akin to meeting someone at a funeral and saying: “I wish we could have met under better circumstances”.

Well guess what? I want to meet under better circumstances.

I want to live in a world where instead of Silicon Valley (aka: The Valley of the Nerds) being celebrated for their latest venture capitalist funded app to rock my insta-hippie, social networking, green juice cleansing life- we are celebrating innovators harnessing that creative genius to develop for the DoD.

I want to live in a world where we compete and celebrate innovative technology that “checks in” and detects IED’s in public places instead of “checking in” to my eatery of the day.

I want to live in a world that has an X Prize type competition to engage our brightest minds to thwart and prevent these acts of such violence.

I want to see patriotism the way my dad sees it at work every day. With daily reminders of cutting edge technology.  

I want to live in a world where the first shot, IS the first kill and prevents the loss of life of innocent people.

It’s sad that we have to live in a world where things like the Iron Dome and EKV are necessary- but I want to live in a world where we celebrate the minds of the patriots that made it possible.

I stand with the United States. I stand with Israel. I stand against acts of terror, and I stand for my fellow patriots that make it technologically, politically, and physically possible for us to keep standing.

Today I take a knee to honor the brave first responders, the deceased victims, the wounded, and the survivors- but I also take my right hand to my heart and beat my patriotic salute.