This week a horrible attack was launched against the cities of New York and Washington DC, in the United States. We have now learned firsthand that airplanes can be used as guided missiles against buildings. I could not believe my eyes as I watched in horror on live television a commercial airliner heading towards the towers of the World Trade Center, and slamming full force into them. Both towers collapsed within two hours of the initial attack. The following are some observations I have witnessed since the disaster…..

We live life daily here in America within our own neighborhoods and our own little groups, feeling that we are different than the rest, while there are those out there who profit in ways to keep the American people apart and distressful of each other. All of this came to a grinding halt this week. We were not Black, White, Asian, Irish, Italian, Indian , Arab, etc……we were Americans. We didn’t think it….we knew it. All of our differences evaporated. Workmen digging through the rubble of Wall Street with American flags in their hardhats. As one commented to a newsman, “We are one…..we are together.” We have learned this week that in reality, when it gets down to it, we are not so different after all. We love, we breathe, we bleed, and we hurt.

Our nation, the United States, can be a strange place indeed. We wrap ourselves in our diversity, and we forget that we all live under the same roof, until we are shocked into reality. Why does it take a disaster for us to open our eyes? With this diversity we can easily be underestimated, “Those Americans…they really hate each other…they’ll never get it together,” or, “They’re lazy, complacent, and spoiled.” Though it may be sometimes true, to Americans differences go out the window when we are threatened.

During World War 2, Adolph Hitler said that “America is only good for making razor blades……” Once mobilized, America was able to put to sea one ship per day. The manufacturing and economic power of the United States, when focused and directed, is astounding. Whoever launched these attacks this week made a major mistake. If they truly wanted to hurt the United States, they should have left us alone to wallow in our self-pity, laziness, popping of prozac, and fascination of sex. Unfortunately, what they have done, is woken the Sleeping Giant, who, as we speak, is pumping iron and running on a treadmill to seek out its next meal. The attackers should have left America to its own demise…..but what have they done? They have put smelling salts under our noses, and helped us realize who we are and what matters.

A strange thing happened today…..I went to my local video store and upon entering the manager mentioned to me “The bulk of my action movies have been rented out. Rambo was the movie of choice, but once I said that was gone, they took anything that had the term “Lock and Load” on the box.” (I myself rented “Chocolat,” which is, from what I hear, a spiritual love story)
So attackers be forewarned…..our differences have evaporated….the prozac has been flushed down the toilet….and Rambo is being hauled out of mothballs. America, this week, became one. It’s no longer us and them….it is now We.

Let Freedom Ring,

love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2001 Jennifer Avalon

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