To the editor:
In the 1980s, Secretary of State George Schultz was once escorting a Soviet diplomat to a state dinner, when the man asked if he could see some of American life, beyond the grand monuments and official structures of Washington, D.C.
They had a few minutes, so Schultz asked and received permission, and a short detour was approved. They drove into a residential neighborhood. As the man observed all of the American flags prominently displayed on houses and on poles in yards, he asked what national holiday Americans were celebrating. Schultz replied, none, that it was just another day.
The man digested this information for a few seconds and replied that it would be difficult, even under force of arms, to defeat such great pride in nation, a spirit which did not exist in the Soviet Union.
September 2001 - frightened and stunned in the aftermath of the attacks, Americans didn't know what to do. So, we went to our houses of worship, joined hands and prayed. We attended memorial services and candlelight vigils, and benefit fundraisers for the victim's families. We lined up, in record numbers, to donate blood.
We praised and honored the bravery and self-sacrifice our police and fire/rescue emergency responders, many of whom from across the country, including a contingent of firefighters from right here in Weirton-volunteered to go to New York and Washington, to assist in operations. Flags suddenly sprouted everywhere.
September 11th, 2012; a heavily armed, coordinated force under the auspices of al-Qaeda, attacked the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya. Security and staff, abandoned by their government, bravely defended the compound for hours, as hopes of rescue faded. Four brave defenders, including the ambassador, died.
On April 15th, two brothers, Islamic terrorists, exploded bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and wounding hundreds.
As the chaos unfolded, before the emergency responders arrived, and despite the possibility of more bombs, untold numbers of average Bostonians descended on the scene to help the wounded, offering their own garments for use as bandages and tourniquets; some purchased water or first aid supplies. Businesses threw open their doors, offering shelter to victims.
These evil, misguided people see Americans as shallow and self-indulgent; in some ways, that may be true. But when push comes to shove, we're so much more than that.
They try to hurt us with their attacks and to a point, obviously, they succeed. But ultimately, all they do is unite us.
They prove the nobility, courage and selfless generosity of the American spirit; the strength, and the depth, of the character of Americanism.
There are some people, born and raised in this country, who agree with the terrorists; who prefer to see America as greedy, cowardly, decadent and self-obsessed. These short-sighted people miss the point, and do not like it, when America's inherent nobility is proven out.
Well, for me, I say to hell with them, and with the terrorists they admire.
I say God bless America and the spirit which fills her.