Sunday, September 10, 2006

America the Beautiful

America the Beautiful

Two years ago, angry men with bland faces and hateful eyes boarded planes with the intent to make a misguided statement. Their goal was to show the democratic capitalistic United States and inevitably the world that our self serving, greedy policies should be changed. Our support of Israel, our decadent ways, our avarice for money, our childish hunger for celebrities and their day to day activity or whatever the reason caused these young men to hate America so much. Their hate culminated with a well planned attack designed to make the world take notice that US ideologies will no longer be tolerated. They did this by burning alive and crushing men and women whose only crime that day was going to work. But something good, I mean very good came out of out the situation.

Like a flower sprouting out of a crack in the sidewalk on a deserted street, hope was reborn.

For weeks our petty bickering ended. No longer were we White, Hispanic, Asian, Black, Arab, Jew, Gentile, upper class, lower class, white collar, blue collar - no, we were American and damn proud of it. We placed American flags on our doors, our cars and our lapels. We were a patriotic country again. People started smiling to strangers. I heard "thank you" much more and I saw overt acts of courtesy by my fellow citizens; this in a major metropolitan area where rush-rush is the rule of the day. I remember basking in this patriotic glow. In the midst of it, I hoped it would never end. I enjoyed the smiles and I enjoyed watching people literally stopping to smell the roses. People were capturing the moment of the day. I had hoped this feeling would last forever. Alas, it didn't.

Can't we bring back that patriotic feeling without having our hard working men and women perish by fire? We live in the greatest country ever. Opportunities abound for anyone who works at it. If you have a dream, America can provide you with the resources to fulfill it. If you want an education, it's attainable. If you want to start a business, the opportunity is waiting for you. Anything is possible in America.

We have wonderful citizens. We have fire fighters, policemen and women, store clerks, farmers, truck drivers, teachers; we have a wonderful mosaic. Let's make our differences the cement that brings us all together. It can be as easy as smiling to a stranger. We have to remain patriotic, that's how our country grew in the first place. If we do, our country will continue to grow and prosper. We're only 227 years old and look how far we've come. In the process, we'll all become happier, friendlier citizens of the greatest country in the world.

America IS beautiful.

Rafael Miranda, NJ USA


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