WILL NOT TOLERATE HATE!!!
We are ALL Americans...
Muslims, Jews, Christians...ALL
some personal stories at
were lit across the country,
along with "virtual
candles" on the
web to show our Unity as
the window to return here.
Jacqui Zahner, Denver
Children in New York's East
Village look at a mural by artist
Chico for attack victims.
the Day Dawned
The Good Neighbor
but only partial news coverage was
given during September 2001 to a remarkable
editorial broadcast from Toronto by
Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television
commentator, on June 5, 1973.
truth about the Gordon Sinclair commentary
The Gordon Sinclair commentary is
over 30 years old. And Gordon himself
died in 1984.
Here's the real story behind the quote:
On June 5, 1973, Canadian radio commentator
Gordon Sinclair decided he'd had enough
of the stream of criticism and negative
press recently directed at the United
States of America by foreign journalists
(primarily over America's long military
involvement in Vietnam, which had
ended with the signing of the Paris
Peace Accords six months earlier).
When he arrived at radio station CFRB
in Toronto that morning, he spent
twenty minutes dashing off a two-page
editorial defending the USA against
its carping critics which he then
delivered in a defiant, indignant
tone during his "Let's Be Personal"
spot at 11:45 AM that day.
The unusualness of any foreign correspondent
-- even one from a country with such
close ties to the USA as Canada --
delivering such a caustic commentary
about those who would dare to criticize
the USA is best demonstrated by the
fact that even thirty years later,
many Americans doubt that this piece
(which has been circulating on the
Internet in the slightly-altered form
quoted below as something "recently"
printed in a Toronto newspaper) is
It is real, and it received a great
deal of attention in its day.
After Sinclair's editorial was rebroadcast
by a few American radio stations,
it spread like wildfire all over the
country. It was played again and again
(often superimposed over a piece of
inspirational music such as "Battle
Hymn of the Republic" or "Bridge Over
Troubled Waters"), read into the Congress
Record multiple times, and finally
released on a record (titled "The
Americans"), with all royalties donated
to the American Red Cross. (A Detroit
radio broadcaster named Byron MacGregor
recorded and released an unauthorized
version of the piece that hit the
record stores before Sinclair's official
version; an infringement suit was
avoided when MacGregor agreed to donate
his profits to the Red Cross as well).
Sinclair passed away in 1984, but
he will long be remembered on both
sides of the U.S.-Canadian border
-- both for his contributions to journalism,
and for his loudly proclaiming what
no one else at the time would stand
up and say.
follows is the full text of his trenchant
remarks as printed in the Congressional
"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.
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.
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
earthquakes hit distant cities, it
is the United States that hurries
in to help. This spring, 59 American
communities were flattened by tornadoes.
Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy
pumped billions of dollars! into discouraged
countries. Now newspapers in those
countries are writing about the decadent,
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?
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.
talk about American technocracy, and
you find men on the moon -! not once,
but several times - and safely home
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.
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
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.
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."
Across the World Pay Tribute
to Victims of U.S. Terrorist Attack
Associated Press Writer
Published: Sept 13, 2001
(AP) - Black ribbons fluttered from
Hungarian fire trucks, city buses
across Scandinavia stood still, and
thousands of Germans paused in silence
Thursday as the world mourned those
killed in the terrorist attacks on
New York and Washington.
Europe, nations from Albania to Russia
honored the victims of Tuesday's attacks.
Flags flew at half-staff and thousands
of employees halted their work to
remember the thousands presumed or
already known to be dead.
held a nationwide five minutes of
silence, and hundreds gathered in
front of the US Embassy in Berlin,
amid a sea of flowers spread along
the street leading to the building.
am here to show that the German people
feel for the American people," said
37-year-old Berndt Mattigk. "I am
sad and horrified that the American
people have suffered an act of war
on their soil."
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who
joined officials in observing the
silence outside of the chancellery
in Berlin, has offered "full solidarity"
with the United States and pledged
that Germany would join in any allied
response to Tuesday's terrorist attacks
on the World Trade Center and the
September 14, 2001 LONDON - A military
band played the US national anthem
at an unprecedented Changing of the
Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace
on Thursday, ordered by Queen Elizabeth
II in a show of solidarity with the
American people. Several hundred people
stood somberly outside the gates of
Buckingham Palace as the US national
anthem was played at this special
Changing of the Guard ceremony, followed
by a two-minute silence.
insurer Lloyd's of London rang a bell
salvaged from British Frigate HMS
Lutine in the 19th century that traditionally
signals news of a missing ship, but
has been rung to mark other tragedies,
like the death of Diana, Princess
Russia, national flags were lowered
to half-staff, under a decree from
President Vladimir Putin. Television
and radio stations halted their broadcasts
and the Cabinet interrupted its weekly
meeting for a minute of silence.
radio stations stopped broadcasting
at noon and more than 400 trams and
buses in Helsinki stopped for one
minute of silence. "Innocent people
were killed, and we showed our respect
for them and their families," said
tram driver Mika Savela, 31.
city buses also stopped for one minute
at noon as part of a nationwide display
of "compassion for the victims, their
families and the American people,"
said Mads Lebech, chairman of the
city bus company.
flags in Turkey and in the breakaway
Turkish-Cypriot state were lowered
to half-staff Thursday and in Austria,
church bells rang for three minutes
then fell quiet as people joined in
three minutes of silence.
President Jacques Chirac and Prime
Minister Lionel Jospin were to join
other officials at an ecumenical service
at the American Church on Thursday
leaders were also to attend memorial
services to be held in churches in
the nation's capital and fire trucks
sounded their sirens across the nation
in the afternoon.
in Hungary tied black ribbons to their
radio aerials in memory of New York
firefighters who died in the aftermath
of the attacks.
a construction site in Froesunda outside
the Swedish capital of Stockholm,
several hundred workers removed their
helmets to observe a nationwide minute
of silence. "It was the worst thing
I have seen in my 50 years, and I
will probably not experience anything
like it again." Said construction
worker Kent Sjoelund. "We cannot do
very much but feel sympathy with our
comrades on the other side of the
terror attacks prompted unusual unity
and an outpouring of sympathy from
China. Putting aside months of angry
words over Taiwan and a spy plane
collision, Chinese President Jiang
Zemin offered help with rescue efforts,
telling President Bush that Beijing
wants to work with Washington and
other governments to fight terrorism.
Japan, professional baseball players
and 14,000 fans observed a moment
of silence before their game at Osaka
Korea declared Friday as a national
mourning day for victims, the first
time it has made such a gesture for
another country. "The United States
and its people are in great pain ...
and the United States is our closest
ally which has helped make our country
what it is today," said Park Joon-young,
a government spokesman.
and Albania declared Friday a day
of national mourning. The Albanian
government ordered flags at state
institutions lowered to half-staff,
and all cultural and sports activities
have been canceled.
Orthodox Church said it would hold
memorial prayers in all churches and
on Friday, the 43 nations of the Council
of Europe have asked all of their
800 million citizens to pay three
minutes silent tribute to the victims
at 6:00 a.m. EDT.
We Are Not Shaken
Wednesday, September 12, 2001
LEONARD PITTS JR.
appears most Wednesdays and Fridays
in the Free Press.
Reach him at the Miami Herald
1 Herald Plaza, Miami, FL 33132
toll free at 888-251-4407.
pay me to tease shades of meaning
from social and cultural issues, to
provide words that help make sense
of that which troubles the American
soul. But in this moment of airless
shock when hot tears sting disbelieving
eyes, the only thing I can find to
say, the only words that seem to fit,
must be addressed to the unknown author
of this suffering.
go forward from this moment It's my
job to have something to say. They
pay me to provide words that help
make sense of that which troubles
the American soul. But in this moment
of airless shock when hot tears sting
disbelieving eyes, the only thing
I can find to say, the only words
that seem to fit, must be addressed
to the unknown author of this suffering.
monster. You beast. You unspeakable
lesson did you hope to teach us by
your coward's attack on our World
Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What
was it you hoped we would learn? Whatever
it was, please know that you failed.
you want us to respect your cause?
You just damned your cause.
Did you want to make us fear? You
just steeled our resolve.
you want to tear us apart? You just
brought us together.
me tell you about my people. We are
a vast and quarrelsome family, a family
rent by racial, social, political
and class division, but a family nonetheless.
frivolous, yes, capable of expending
tremendous emotional energy on pop
cultural minutiae -- a singer's revealing
dress, a ball team's misfortune, a
wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready
availability of trinkets and material
goods, and maybe because of that,
we walk through life with a certain
sense of blithe entitlement.
are fundamentally decent, though --
peace-loving and compassionate. We
struggle to know the right thing and
to do it. And we are, the overwhelming
majority of us, people of faith, believers
in a just and loving God.
people -- you, perhaps -- think that
any or all of this makes us weak.
You're mistaken. We are not weak.
Indeed, we are strong in ways that
cannot be measured by arsenals.
Yes, we're in pain now. We are in
mourning and we are in shock. We're
still grappling with the unreality
of the awful thing you did, still
working to make ourselves understand
that this isn't a special effect from
some Hollywood blockbuster, isn't
the plot development from a Tom Clancy
novel. Both in terms of the awful
scope of their ambition and the probable
final death toll, your attacks are
likely to go down as the worst acts
of terrorism in the history of the
United States and, probably, the history
of the world. You've bloodied us as
we have never been bloodied before.
there's a gulf of difference between
making us bloody and making us fall.
This is the lesson Japan was taught
to its bitter sorrow the last time
anyone hit us this hard, the last
time anyone brought us such abrupt
and monumental pain. When roused,
we are righteous in our outrage, terrible
in our force. When provoked by this
level of barbarism, we will bear any
suffering, pay any cost, go to any
length, in the pursuit of justice.
tell you this without fear of contradiction.
I know my people, as you, I think,
do not. What I know reassures me.
It also causes me to tremble with
dread of the future.
the days to come, there will be recrimination
and accusation, fingers pointing to
determine whose failure allowed this
to happen and what can be done to
prevent it from happening again. There
will be heightened security, misguided
talk of revoking basic freedoms. We'll
go forward from this moment sobered,
chastened, sad. But determined, too.
STEEL IN US
You see, the steel in us is not always
readily apparent. That aspect of our
character is seldom understood by
people who don't know us well. On
this day, the family's bickering is
put on hold. As Americans we will
weep, as Americans we will mourn,
and as Americans, we will rise in
defense of all that we cherish.
I ask again: What was it you hoped
to teach us? It occurs to me that
maybe you just wanted us to know the
depths of your hatred. If that's the
case, consider the message received.
And take this message in exchange:
You don't know my people. You don't
know what we're capable of. You don't
know what you just started.
you're about to learn.
open letter to terrorists
hit the World Trade Center, but
you missed America.
hit the Pentagon, but you missed
lives in US!
Navy River Patrol Veterans from
you hit the World Trade Center,
but you missed America. You
hit the Pentagon, but you missed
America. You used helpless American
bodies to take out other American
bodies, but like a poor marksman,
you STILL missed America.
Because of something you guys
will never understand. America
isn't about a building or two,
not about financial centers,
not about military centers,
America isn't about a place,
America isn't even about a bunch
of bodies. America is about
an IDEA. An idea that you can
go someplace where you can earn
as much as you can figure out
how to, live for the most part
like you envisioned living,
and pursue Happiness. (No guarantees
that you'll reach it, but you
can sure try!)
Go ahead and whine your terrorist
whine, and chant your terrorist
litany: "If you cannot see my
point, then feel my pain."
concept is alien to Americans.
We live in a country where we
don't have to see your point.
But you're free to have one.
We don't have to listen to your
speech. But you're free to say
one. Don't know where you got
the strange idea that everyone
has to agree with you. We don't
agree with each other in this
country, almost as a matter
of pride. We're a collection
of guys that don't agree, called
States. We united our individual
states to protect ourselves
from tyranny in the world.
idea, we made up on the spot.
You CAN make it up as you go,
when it's your country.
you're free enough.
we're fat, sloppy, easygoing
goofs most of the time. That's
an unfortunate image to project
to the world, but it comes of
feeling free and easy about
the world you live in. It's
unfortunate, too, because people
start to forget that when you
attack Americans, they tend
to fight like a cornered badger.
The first we knew of the War
of 1812, was when England burned
Washington D.C. to the ground.
Didn't turn out like England
thought it was going to, and
it's not going to turn out like
you think, either. Sorry, but
you're not the first bully on
our shores, just the most recent.
Marquis of Queensbury rules
for Americans either. We were
the FIRST, and so far, only
country in the world to use
nuclear weapons in anger. Horrific
idea, nowadays? News for you,
bucko, it was back then too,
but we used it anyway. Only
had two of them in the whole
world and we used 'em both.
Grandpa Jones worked on the
Manhattan Project. Told me once
that right up until they threw
the switch, the physicists were
still arguing over whether the
Uranium alone would fission,
or whether it would start a
fissioning chain reaction that
would eat everything. But they
threw the switch anyway, because
we had a War to win. Does that
tell you something about American
who just declared War on us?
It would be nice to point to
some real estate, like the good
old days. Unfortunately, we're
probably at war with random
camps, in far-flung places.
Who think they're safe. Just
like the Barbary Pirates did,
IIRC. Better start sleeping
with one eye open.
a spirit that tends to take
over people who come to this
country, looking for opportunity,
looking for liberty, looking
for freedom. Even if they misuse
it. The Marielistas, that Castro
emptied out of his prisons,
were overjoyed to find out how
much freedom there was.
thing they did when they hit
our shores, was run out and
buy guns, The ones that didn't
end up dead, ended up in prisons.
It was a big PITA then (especially
in south Florida), but you're
only the newest PITA, not the
guys seem to be incapable of
understanding that we don't
live in America, America lives
in US! American Spirit is what
it's called. And killing a few
thousand of us, or a few million
of us, won't change it.
of the time, it's a pretty happy-go-lucky
kind of Spirit. Until we're
crossed in a cowardly manner,
then it becomes an entirely
different kind of Spirit.
until you see what we do with
that Spirit this time.
tight, if you can. We're coming.