It appears that terrorists, know little or nothing of the strength, the resilience and the inner resources of the American people. We emerge from almost every tragedy, stronger and more determined.
The Japanese found that out shortly after they bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941. The attack was intended to daze, confuse and dishearten the American people, destroying their will to fight. In reality, it bound a nation together with a single purpose. DESTROY THE ENEMY! For those who did not get the message earlier, it was made abundantly clear on August 6, 1945, when Hiroshima was literally destroyed by the first of two atomic bombs.
The terrorist attacks, dating all the way back to the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 to Monday’s bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, had the same purpose: to confuse, terrify, dishearten and divide the American people, leaving them open to conquest.
What they do not understand, just as the Japanese did not understand, is that the American spirit is unconquerable. It cannot be defeated because it has so many faces and exists in so many places. It exists at the Alamo, Yankee Stadium, the Epcot Center, Six Flags over Texas, the foot of the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden.
It exists in the bat of Babe Ruth, the guitar pick of Johnny Cash, the gloves of Ali, the baton of John Phillip Sousa, and the crack in the Liberty Bell. It is unmistakable in the words, “O’ say can you see ...” or “God Bless America,” or “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” or “I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.”
It wears many faces, from the wonder of the adolescent to the wisdom of the elderly, to those whose ancestors made this great nation, as they assembled here from Ireland, Italy, Scotland, England, France, Spain, China, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and on and on to work together to create the greatest nation on this earth.
The faces of the Spirit of America come in all colors and shapes — red, yellow, black, white, tan, long faces, fat faces, bearded faces, smooth faces, wrinkled faces, sad faces and smiling faces. It takes them all to bind this great people together.
The Spirit of America has survived terrible tragedies and devastating wars, including one which almost forever split the nation, but we survived, as one, and we will continue to survive, because of our spirit, our resolve and our inner strength, bolstered by our faith in ourselves and our gods, whoever they may be.
No, the terrorists have no idea just who they are dealing with, but they, like the Japanese, one day will be called to account. On that day, they will feel the wrath of the “sleeping giant, awakened and filled with a terrible resolve.”
God Bless America!
Nettie Helen Stemm