It was actor John Wayne who said, “Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.”
There has been a lot of saddling up these days, and wouldn’t it be interesting to hear what Osama bin Laden thinks about those “crazy Americans” who ride around with flags waving from their cars and wearing patriotic pins on their lapels?
By all accounts, recent observations have surely begun to point out to him and to us all that even though the towers fell, the target was obviously missed. The aim to destroy the spirit of America actually gave birth to it!
In the days since our nation’s darkest hour we have recorded some brilliant successes in our personal growth. Our actions and reactions reflect a new attitude, and we have shown an uncommon kind of courage.
The latest shining example was when our president stepped to the pitcher’s mound to pitch the first ball in the third game of the World Series in Yankee Stadium. Cheers were heard throughout the world.
Our hearts swelled with sympathy and the people of this great nation dug deep into their pockets to contribute staggering funds, proving the strength of our country lies in a nation of people with a willingness to share. We are people of generosity.
We have stood with our heads bowed in grief and confusion by graves that too soon were dug; yet over the course of these last weeks we have managed to laugh with glee and renewed our appreciation for life’s simplest pleasures. We are people with resilience.
Deeply touched by the events, relationships have strengthened. The divorce rate has dropped. Couples who once squabbled over what was wrong in their marriage have re-evaluated their situations and have focused on keeping their wedding vows. Parents are more passionate about parenting, families are nurturing one another, old friendships are being rekindled, and strangers are demonstrating a human connection with simple and common courtesies.
A young man in his thirties presented these thoughts, “I am saddened the world is where it is today. I wish it weren’t so, but I refuse to give up my freedom. It may be a long battle, but I am willing to fight.”
These words echo the sentiments of Americans of all ages who have commissioned themselves as warriors doing daily battle against fear, negativity, ignorance, apathy and prejudice. With these great allies--faith, intelligence, courage, creativity, love and laughter--they sit in their saddles.
Move aside bin Laden, there is indomitable strength in the numbers and pride in the commitment. America is on a mission!