|Proud to be an American; Let Freedom Ring!|
This picture was taken by a lady returning on a cruise during the summer of 2001.
"As I watched the beautiful skyline of New York City float
past me I noticed the sun was about to line up just behind the twin towers.
I was lucky enough to snap the picture at exactly the right moment.
If you look at the sun rays it is almost prophetic - a little spooky."
Two now famous views of Raising the Flag
View from Space of Manhattan
and the World Trade Center before September 11, 2001
View from space of downtown Manhattan
on September 11, 2001
View from Space of the Pentagon
before September 11, 2001
View from space of the Pentagon
on September 11, 2001
|First of all, let me say I'm proud to be an American so I chose to reprint these articles to honor America. I chose the song because I think it is one of the best songs written about why it means so much to be Proud that we are Americans. What follows are two tributes to America that were received via Email. The unknown author in the first text explains in his or her own words why America was founded and why we use the symbols like the American flag. The second is an article written by a member of the Canadian press that was re-published after the attack on America on September 11, 2001. I hope you enjoy them. If you want the song to start again as you are reading, just hit refresh on your browser.|
I received this text in an email. I have no idea who originated it but it is the thought that counts. Read on and try to keep dry eyes...|
I was sitting alone in one of those loud, casual steak houses that you find all over the country. You know the type--a bucket of peanuts on every table, shells littering the floor, and a bunch of perky college kids racing around with long neck beers and sizzling platters.
Taking a sip of my iced tea, I studied the crowd over the rim of my glass. My gaze lingered on a group enjoying their meal. They wore no uniform to identify their branch of service, but they were definitely "military:" clean shaven, cropped haircut, and that "squared away" look that comes with pride.
Smiling sadly, I glanced across my table to the empty seat where my husband usually sat. It had only been a few months since we sat in this very booth, talking about his upcoming deployment to the Middle East . That was when he made me promise to get a sitter for the kids, come back to this restaurant once a month and treat myself to a nice steak. In turn he would treasure the thought of me being here, thinking about him until he returned home.
I fingered the little flag pin I constantly wear and wondered where he was at this very moment. Was he safe and warm? Was his cold any better? Were my letters getting through to him?
As I pondered these thoughts, high pitched female voices from the next booth broke into my thoughts. "I don't know what Bush is thinking about. Invading Iraq . You'd think that man would learn from his old man's mistakes. Good grief. What an idiot! I can't believe he is even in office. You do know, he stole the election."
I cut into my steak and tried to ignore them as they began an endless tirade running down our president.
I thought about the last night I spent with my husband, as he prepared to deploy. He had just returned from getting his smallpox and anthrax shots. The image of him standing in our kitchen packing his gas mask still gives me chills.
Once again the women's voices invaded my thoughts.
"It's all about oil, you know. Our soldiers will go in and rape and steal all the oil they can in the name of 'freedom'. Hmmm! I wonder how many innocent people they'll kill without giving it a thought. It's pure greed, you know."
My chest tightened as I stared at my wedding ring. I could still see how handsome my husband looked in his "mess dress" the day he slipped it on my finger I wondered what he was wearing now. Probably his desert uniform, affectionately dubbed "coffee stains" with a heavy bulletproof vest over it.
"You know, we should just leave Iraq alone. I don't think they are hiding any weapons. In fact, I bet it's all a big act just to increase the president's popularity. That's all it is, padding the military budget at the expense of our social security and education And, you know what else? We're just asking for another 9-11. I can't say when it happens again that we didn't deserve it."
Their words brought to mind the war protesters I had watched gathering outside our base. Did no one even appreciate the sacrifice of brave men and women, who leave their homes and family to ensure our freedom? Do they even know what "freedom" is?
I glanced at the table where the young men were sitting, and saw their courageous faces change. They had stopped eating and looked at each other dejectedly, listening to the women talking.
"Well, I, for one, think it's just deplorable to invade Iraq , and I am certainly sick of our tax dollars going to train professional baby-killers we call a military"
Professional baby-killers. I thought about what a wonderful father my husband is, and of how long it would be before he would see our children again.
That's it! Indignation rose up inside me. Normally reserved, pride in my husband gave me a brassy boldness I never realized I had. Tonight one voice will answer on behalf of our military, and let her pride in our troops be known
Sliding out of my booth, I walked around to the adjoining booth and placed my hands flat on their table. Lowering myself to eye level with them, smiling I said, "I couldn't help overhearing your conversation. You see, I'm sitting here trying to enjoy my dinner alone. And, do you know why? Because my husband, whom I love with all my heart, is halfway around the world defending your right to say rotten things about him."
"Yes, you have the right to your opinion, and what you think is none of my business. However, what you say in public is something else, and I will not sit by and listen to you ridicule MY country, MY president, MY husband, and all the other fine American men and women who put their lives on the line, just so you can have the "freedom" to complain. Freedom is an expensive commodity, ladies. Don't let your actions cheapen it."
I must have been louder than I meant to be, because the manager came over to inquire if everything was all right
"Yes, thank you," I replied.
Then, turning back to the women, I said, "Enjoy the rest of your meal."
As I returned to my booth applause broke out. I was embarrassed for making a scene, and went back to my half eaten steak. The women picked up their check and scurried away.
After finishing my meal, and while waiting for my check, the manager returned with a huge apple cobbler ala mode. "Compliments of those soldiers," he said. He also smiled and said the ladies tried to pay for my dinner, but that another couple had beaten them to it.
When I asked who, the manager said they had already left, but that the gentleman was a veteran, and wanted to take care of the wife of "one of our boys."
With a lump in my throat, I gratefully turned to the soldiers and thanked them for the cobbler. Grinning from ear to ear, they came over and surrounded the booth.
"We just wanted to thank you, ma'am. You know we can't get into confrontations with civilians, so we appreciate what you did."
As I drove home, for the first time since my husband's deployment, I didn't feel quite so alone. My heart was filled with the warmth of the other diners who stopped by my table, to relate how they, too, were proud of my husband, and would keep him in their prayers.
I knew their flags would fly a little higher the next day. Perhaps they would look for more tangible ways to show their pride in our country, and the military that protect her. And maybe, just maybe, the two women who were railing against our country would pause for a minute to appreciate all the freedom America offers, and the price it pays to maintain its freedom.
As for me, I have learned that one voice CAN make a difference.
Maybe the next time protesters gather outside the gates of the base where I live, I will proudly stand on the opposite side with a sign of my own. It will simply say, "Thank You!"
To those who fought for our nation, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.
GOD BLESS AMERICA !
Please pray for God's protection of our troops and HIS wisdom for their commanders. Pass the link to this page to as many as you can (http://www.jldr.com/americathebeautiful.html). Let Freedom Ring!!!
"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. I ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Amen"
GOD BLESS AMERICA
What is an American?You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.
Dateline: April 2005
So an Australian dentist wrote the following to let everyone know what an American is... so they would know when they found one. (Good on ya, mate!!!!)
An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek.
An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani, or Afghan.
An American may also be a Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.
An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim.
In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.
An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.
An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world.
The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.
An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need.
When the Soviet army overran Afghanistan 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country!
As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan.
Americans welcome the best, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best athletes. But they also welcome the least.
The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty, welcomes your tired and your 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 the morning of September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. I've been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 other countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.
So you can try to kill an American if you must.
So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and every bloodthirsty tyrant in the history of the world.
But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.
A MESSAGE TO OSAMA BIN LADEN on the one-year anniversary of his terror.
If you are dead, you failed, because you are not in some blessed place, sitting under the Yum Yum tree. You are in a corner of hell reserved for murderers.
And if you live on, you failed, to. Because you are hidden in some cave in a forsaken corner of the world, forced to recognize the truth; What you sought to terrorize, you emboldened.
How does it feel, to have so woefully miscalculated? We are smarter, stronger, more aware and more involved. We treat our neighbors with more patience and our country with more love.
If you sought to destroy our spirit, you failed.
If you sought to destroy our will you failed.
And if you sought to destroy our institutions, you failed, big time, even on the very day you had the advantage. One of the four planes you stole last Sept. 11 did not even make its mark. It was retaken by passengers who proved there is no need to fear you or your cowardly henchmen. With two words, "Let's roll," that plane was driven into the ground, and instead of taking down a monument, it became one. Its Pennsylvania crash site is an inspirational place.
For us, not for you.
You gave us something to feel good about.
How does it feel?
If you planned on demoralizing us, you failed.
If you planned on dividing us, you failed.
If you planned on destabilizing us, we're still here. Our streets, our schools, our government, our freedom. You on the other hand, lost your sand lot. You lost your real estate. You lost your roof and your umbrella, your shelter from the storm, you lost something all of us can claim, but you no longer can. You lost your home.
You lost your friendly host, the Taliban. You lost caves and training camps and what little infrastructure you had. You scatter with a breeze, leaving maps and tapes and bags and boots as you race for a place to hide, a bug scampering behind the refrigerator. Do you think people are inspired by such flight? Do you think people admire it?
If you sought to command respect, you failed.
And if you sought to affect our patriotism - well, you couldn't have done much worse. In a single day, thanks to your heinous act, this nation transformed, from a people who saw their country as a place worth enjoying, to a people who saw their country as a place worth saving.
You made us fierce. You made us united. You made us mad, and that's a deadly thing to do.
But if you sought to make us fear you, you failed.
If you sought to make us listen to you, you failed. Most people don't even bother with the translation of your cryptic messages anymore. We flip channels. We move on. We ignore your hate.
If you sought to win converts, you lost.
If you sought to make things better for your people, you lost.
If you sought to rally Muslims to your warped and pathetic view, you lost more than you can calculate. Life has rarely been worse for those who follow your religion. They are scrutinized, harassed, singled out and picked on. They hate this. But they hate you more for bringing it upon them. you did not gain their allegiance, only their wrath.
If you sought to unnerve us, you lost.
If you sought to undermine us, you lost.
If you sought to put a permanent dent in the American economy, well, look again. The airlines are still flying. Wall Street still functions. Your financial flow, on the other hand, has never been more scrutinized. And while we haven't shut off every faucet, we've shut a few. The world is not your ATM anymore.
How does it feel?
If you dreamed of victory, you failed.
If you dreamed of domination, you failed.
If you dreamed of Muslims on one side, Westerners on the other, you failed.
And if you dreamed of glory and righteousness and, most of all, your god's blessing - you do not have it. No matter how many times you invoke his name, you do not have it. No god loves you. No god forgives you. No god blesses you. No god condones you.
Today we remember your day of destruction, but not you. Today we honor those who fell, but not you. We suffered that day, we suffered and we grieved, but then we did what we do best. We came back stronger. We came back united. We stood up straight and resolved more than ever that our way of life is precious and true and loving and right.
We buried our dead. We mourned for them. Today, we remember. but tomorrow, the world goes on.
You failed, bin Laden, in every important way. It is one year after your fire in the sky. We've cleaned up our ashes.
The only ones left are yours.
A Tribute to being an American and having Patriotism
Berkeley, California bans U.S. Flags from being displayed on city fire trucks because they didn't want to offend anyone in the community.
In an "act of tolerance" the head of the public library at Florida Gulf Coast University ordered all "Proud to be an American" signs removed so as to not offend international students.
I, for one, am quite disturbed by these actions of so-called American citizens; and I am tired of this nation worrying about whether or not we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Americans. However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled in New York and Washington D.C. when the "politically correct" crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others.
I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to America. In fact, our country's population is almost entirely comprised of descendants of immigrants; however, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some native Americans, need to understand.
First of all, it is not our responsibility to continually try not to offend you in any way. This idea of America being a multi-cultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Americans, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language, and our own lifestyle. This culture, called the "American Way" has been developed over centuries of struggles, trials, and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom. Our forefathers fought, bled, and died at places such as Bunker Hill, Antietam, San Juan, Iwo Jima, Normandy, Korea, Vietnam, and others.
We speak English, not Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society - learn our language! "In God We Trust" is our national motto. This is not some off-the-wall, Christian, Right Wing, political slogan - it is our national motto. It is engraved in stone in the House of Representatives in our Capitol and it is printed on our currency. We adopted this motto because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation; and this is clearly documented throughout our history. If it is appropriate for our motto to be inscribed in the halls of our highest level of Government, then it is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. Update 01/09/2019 See Update just below this paragraph.
Update on 01/09/2019 This note was received from a visitor so I'm including it right under the section he was referring to:
I found my way to your site via the Chick Sale story. It was very good, by the way.
The correction I suggest is that you rewrite the part about our nation being founded by Christian men and woman as a Christian nation. That isn't quite correct.
True, many or even most, of the founding fathers of our nation were Christian. But if you look in the founding documents of the nation, you will find no reference to Christ, or Jesus. One thing that the founders had in common was that they were deists - They all shared a belief in God.
That is firmly in place in our documents. No single belief system is mentioned. That isn't hard to understand when you consider that they had been living under a king with a state mandated church. They wanted nothing to do with that. Their object was absolute religious freedom. And that is what is important.
I just thought you might want to know that.
John L. Bartholomew
End of Update
God is in our pledge, our National Anthem, nearly every patriotic song, and in our founding documents. We honor His birth, death, and resurrection as holidays, and we turn to Him in prayer in times of crisis. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture and we are proud to have Him.
We are proud of our heritage and those who have so honorably defended our freedoms. We celebrate Independence Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Flag Day. We have parades, picnics, and barbecues where we proudly wave our flag. As an American, I have the right to wave my flag, sing my national anthem, quote my national motto, and cite my pledge whenever and wherever I choose. If the Stars and Stripes offend you, or you don't like Uncle Sam, then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet.
The American culture is our way of life, our heritage, and we are proud of it. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from. We are Americans, like it or not, this is our country, our land, and our lifestyle.
Our First Amendment gives every citizen the right to express his opinion about our government, culture, or society, and we will allow you every opportunity to do so. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about our flag, our pledge, our national motto, or our way of life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great American freedom, the right to leave.
| And now, the other report that was written by a Canadian reporter...|
A Tribute to the United States of America
|The Canadian tribute below is a little dated but most of it is still applies today.|
America: The Good Neighbor. 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!
If you agree with the opinions expressed on this page, pass this web page address "http://www.jldr.com/americathebeautiful.html" onto other Americans who are Proud to be an American!! It is time to take a stand!!
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This tribute to the victims of 911 was created on October 20, 2001