On Sept. 11, we became Americans

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Where were you on 9-11? It was a normal morning. We were off to work or went shopping and did just about anything and everything we normally do. We felt safe in the bosom of Lady Liberty. I was at my desk creating a column for this newspaper when I received a call from a friend who shouted, “Turn on the television!”

I immediately learned that some amateur idiot pilot crashed into a building in Manhattan. What pilot? What airport did he come from? A very short time later I heard that a second airplane crashed into another building. Hey, hang on Sloopy. This is no accident. This is real. My United States is under attack.

More telephone calls warned me to stay indoors. We didn’t know what was coming next. It didn’t take long for all of the information to be released. There were more crashes, the last of which was United Flight 93 forced down in Pennsylvania by the passengers with the new catchphrase — “Let’s roll.” These travelers without uniforms were the first soldiers in our new war on terror. They sacrificed their lives for this nation. God rest their souls and bless those they left behind.

In a very short time, this United States of America became truly united. We were no longer Democrats or Republicans. We became Americans, bound by the love for a country that gave us freedoms and opportunities. No matter what color we were, under the skin we were brothers and sisters amalgamated into Americans. How dare they? Who the hell do those bastards think they are?

And all of a sudden, as if by magic, we became flag-wavers. I hoist the colors and proudly wave them from my terrace on every patriotic holiday. I had not yet removed my 4-by-6 stars and stripes that were waving on Labor Day. I left them there and then bought two small flags and waved them proudly from the rear windows of my car. Everywhere I went, there was Old Glory.

I’m to young to remember it, but folks a bit my senior still tell me that the last time they witnessed this kind of American camaraderie was when peace was declared at the end of World War II.

And now flags flew everywhere. Crowds shouted “U.S.A. – U.S.A.” at sporting events and just about everywhere they gathered. I don’t remember hearing fans singing the National Anthem and “God Bless America” at ball games as loud and as meaningful as they were in the days and weeks after the attack. Yes! We were Americans united with our loyalty and patriotism on display for the world to see. Those crazy bastards started up with the wrong people.

It saddens me to note that because of our economy, scandals, and irresponsible government overspending the faithfulness and allegiances do not seem to be with us anymore. Will it take another monstrous attack to unite us again? I am saying, I hope not.

Read Stan Gershbein's column every Monday on
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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