By Olivia Short ’17
In December, Trump’s threats to ban Muslim-American citizens struck fear into the heart of 8-year-old Dallas resident Sofia Yassini.
Terrified that her family would be forcibly deported, Sofia began packing bags and checking the locks on the doors.
Sofia’s mother, Melissa Chance Yassini, noticed the sudden change in her daughter’s behavior and turned to Facebook in outrage about the fear Muslim children live in.
Yassini’s post quickly went viral, with over 24,000 shares on multiple social media platforms. It soon caught the attention of Army veteran Kerri Peek, who responded with a call for action.
Peek entreated fellow Armed Forces personnel to reassure Sofia that she is safe in America– and the hashtag #IWillProtectYou was born.
Then came a flood of Facebook and Twitter posts. Pictures of Armed Forces members posted photos of themselves in uniform, captioned with promises to protect Sofia. “No one should be afraid to live in a country because of their faith,” tweeted @bryanchasebrown. From @HilsAmanda: “Sofia, tell your friends & anyone else who needs help, wants to feel safe: If you see me, know that #iwillprotectyou.”
This circumstance feels all the more touching for its candidness. The movement was done totally through Armed Force members’ own volition and genuine will to defend the defenseless.