The events of September 11, 2001, are still fresh in my mind, as I imagine they are with most of you. The attacks on the World Trade Center are still an open wound for our nation, as well, given the lightning storms of dual controversies around the building of a mosque too close to Ground Zero, and the threat of Koran-burnings by a Florida pastor.
I pray the Holy Spirit gives us all sensitive hearts to see the Truth, soft words to turn away wrath, and right minds to speak cautiously as we mark the ninth year of that tragic day.
WHO IS AN AMERICAN?
An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian, or Greek. An American may also be a Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab. Even a Pakistani or an Afghan.
An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navajo, Apache, Seminole, or one of the many other tribes known as Native Americans.
An American is a Christian, or could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or she could be a Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than there are in Afghanistan.
An American is also free to believe in no religion at all. For that he or she will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for God or the government.
An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world, even now. The root of that prosperity can be found in their Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God-given right of each person to pursue their vision of happiness.
An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world during their time of need, never asking for anything in return.
As of September 11, 2001, Americans had given more to the poor in Afghanistan than any other nation in the world.
One of the national symbols of America - the Statue of Liberty - welcomes your "tired and poor ... the wretched refuse of your teeming shores ... the homeless ... tempest-tossed ..." These, in fact, are the people who built America.
Some of them were working in the Twin Towers on the morning of September 11, 2001, earning a better life for their families.
Americans are not a particular people for a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, wherever they are, is an American.
[written by Peter Ferrara, originally published in late September 2001; as seen in ChapNotes ... edited by Mark Raymond]
WEBSITE of the WEEK: One of the results - among many - of 9/11 was the establishment in 2004 of "National Preparedness Month," which is now. The month of September. Check out what you can do at http://www.ready.gov/. And, you know, be prepared.