This is a testimony of our spirit.
An open letter to a terrorist:
Well, you hit the World Trade Center, but you missed America.
You hit the Pentagon, but you missed
Why? Because of something you guys will
never understand. America isn't about a building or two,
not about financial centers, not about military centers,
America isn't about a place, America
Go ahead and whine your terrorist whine, and
chant your terrorist litany: "If you can not see my
point, then feel my pain." This concept is alien
to Americans. We live in a country where we
If you're free enough.
Yeah, we're fat, sloppy, easy-going goofs most of
the time. That's an unfortunate image to project
to the world, but it comes of feeling free and easy
about the world you live in. It's unfortunate too,
because people start to forget that when you attack
Americans, they tend to fight like a cornered
badger. The first we knew of the War of 1812 was
when England burned Washington D.C. to the ground.
Didn't turn out like England thought it was going to,
So who just declared War on us? It would be nice to point to some real estate, like the good old days. Unfortunately, we're probably at war with random camps, in far-flung places. Who think they're safe. Just like the Barbary Pirates did, IIRC. Better start sleeping with one eye open.
There's a spirit that tends to take over people
who come to this country, looking for opportunity,
looking for liberty, looking for freedom. Even if
they misuse it. The Marielistas that Castro
You guys seem to be incapable of understanding that we don't live in America, America lives in US! American Spirit is what it's called. And killing a few thousand of us, or a few million of us, won't change it. Most of the time, it's a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of Spirit. Until we're crossed in a cowardly manner, then it becomes an entirely different kind of Spirit. Wait until you see what we do with that Spirit, this time.
Sleep tight, if you can.
Charles Brennan Date: 9/11/2001
This is from a Canadian newspaper and is worth sharing. Some would credit this as an urban legend - There is a more thorough explanation of Sinclair at the end of the article.
Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:
"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts.
None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.
When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it. When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped.
The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.
I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines, except Russia, fly American Planes?
Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon - not once, but several times - and safely home again.
You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at, even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.
When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke.
I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.
Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those."
Stand proud, America!
This is one of the best editorials that I have ever
read regarding the United States. It is nice that one
man realizes it. I only wish that the rest of the world
would realize it. We are always blamed for everything,
and never even get a thank you for the things we do. I
would hope that each of you would send this to as many
people as you can and emphasize that they should send it
On June 5 1973, Canadian radio commentator Gordon Sinclair decided he'd had enough of the stream of criticism and negative press recently directed at the United States of America by foreign journalists (primarily over America's long military involvement in Vietnam, which had ended with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords six months earlier). When he arrived at radio station CFRB in Toronto that morning, he spent twenty minutes dashing off a two-page editorial defending the USA against its carping critics which he then delivered in a defiant, indignant tone during his "Let's Be Personal" spot at 11:45 AM that day.
The unusualness of any foreign correspondent - even one from a country with such close ties to the USA as Canada - delivering such a caustic commentary about those who would dare to criticize the USA is best demonstrated by the fact that even thirty years later, a generation of Americans too young to remember Sinclair's broadcast doubt that this piece (which has been circulating on the Internet in the slightly-altered form as something "recently" printed in a Toronto newspaper) is real. It is real, and it received a great deal of attention in its day. After Sinclair's editorial was rebroadcast by a few American radio stations, it spread like wildfire all over the country. It was played again and again (often superimposed over a piece of inspirational music such as "Battle Hymn of the Republic" or "Bridge Over Troubled Waters"), read into the Congressional Record multiple times, and finally released on a record (titled "The Americans"), with all royalties donated to the American Red Cross. (A Windsor/Detroit radio broadcaster named Byron MacGregor recorded and released an unauthorized version of the piece which hit the record stores before Sinclair's official version; an infringement suit was avoided when MacGregor agreed to donate his profits to the Red Cross as well).
Sinclair passed away in 1984, but he will long be
remembered on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border -
both for his contributions to journalism, and for his
loudly proclaiming what no one else at the time would
stand up and say.
We'll go forward from this moment. It's my job to have something to say. They pay me to provide words that help make sense of that which troubles the American soul. But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find to say, the only words that seem to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author of this suffering.
You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard. What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's attack on our World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we would learn? Whatever it was, please know that you failed. Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause. Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve. Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together.
Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, social, political and class division, but a family nonetheless. We're frivolous, yes, capable of expending tremendous emotional energy on pop cultural minutiae -- a singer's revealing dress, a ball team's misfortune, a cartoon mouse. We're wealthy. Spoiled by the ready availability of trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of that, we walk through life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement. We are fundamentally decent, though -- peace-loving and compassionate. We struggle to know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the overwhelming majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just and loving God.
Some people -- you, perhaps -- think that any or all of
this makes us weak. You're mistaken. We are not weak.
Indeed, we are strong in ways that cannot be measured by
arsenals. IN PAIN? Yes, we're in pain now.
We are in mourning and we are in shock. We're still
grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you did,
still working to make ourselves understand that
But there's a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making us fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last time anyone hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us such abrupt and monumental pain. When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible in our force. When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice. I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my people, as you, I think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble with dread of the future.
In the days to come, there will be recrimination and accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to happen and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. There will be heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic freedoms. We'll go forward from this moment sobered, chastened, sad. But determined, too. Unimaginably determined. THE STEEL IN US. You see, the steel in us is not always readily apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom understood by people who don't know us well. On this day, the family's bickering is put on hold. As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn, and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that we cherish.
So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that's the case, consider the message received. And take this message in exchange: You don't know my people. You don't know what we're capable of. You don't know what you just started.
But you're about to learn.