I'm Proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free
You know, all the 9/11 references from "W"’s speech on Tuesday really got me thinking.
I recall being particularly shaken and frightened by the destruction I had seen. I was angry about the senseless killings, and I hurt for the families who lost loved ones. People were still searching their lost relatives in the days that followed the attacks.
I wanted to find Osama Bin Ladin and lock him up for good in a rat-infested cell. I wanted to show him the images of the people he killed over and over and over again, like shame-inducing Chinese Water Torture. I wanted his ass. Still do as matter of fact.
That was OSAMA BIN LADIN. Not Saddam. By the way, that was also the man who is still running around free as a bird on this very day. BUT BY GOLLY WE GOT THE GUY WHO TRIED TO KILL "W"'s DADDY!!!
After September 11th, I recall feeling an overwhelming sense of unity with people from all walks of life and all political ideologies. I was not alone. We were all united against a common enemy. There were flags everywhere. Flags on homes. Flags on cars. Flags on lapels.
It was about September 13th, 2001. I was driving to work, listening to NPR with tears streaming down my face. They were interviewing a woman who couldn’t find her husband. He worked in the World Trade Center and was presumed dead. She was crying and talking about how helpless she felt. Wherever her husband was, she couldn’t help him, and that hurt her so much. If he was trapped, she wanted so badly to be there to hold his hand. If nothing else, to simply comfort him and hold his hand. Her story literally tore my heart to pieces.
Place sound of record player needle scratching across the LP abruptly: HERE.
Moments later I looked over to see a woman driving a mammouth SUV. American flags waving. She leaned over, thrust her finger out her window and flipped the bird to the driver that had merged into her lane. Her fellow citizen. Her fellow American. Her fellow Comrade. “Fuck You!” with American flags flapping in the September breeze.
The song “I’m Proud to be an American” began playing sentimentally in my head.
And with that image, I will leave you.
Happy Fourth of July!
Oh, and I also recall a "W" sticker proudly displayed on her bumper. Oh, the Patriotism!