missed it in the rush of news last week, but
there was actually a report that someone in
Pakistan had published in a newspaper an offer
of a reward to anyone who killed an American,
any American. So I just thought I would write to
let them know what an American is, so they would
know when they found one.
American is English, French, Italian, Irish,
German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An
American may be Mexican, African, Indian,
Chinese, Japanese, Australian, Iranian, Asian,
Arab, Pakistani, or Afghan. An American may also be a Cherokee,
Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, or one of the many
other tribes known as native Americans.
American is Christian, or he could be Jewish,
Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more
Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only
difference is that in America they are free to
worship as each of them chooses. An American is
also free to believe in no religion. For that he
will answer only to God, not to the government,
or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the
government and for God.
American is from the most prosperous land in the
history of the world. The root of that
prosperity can be found in the Declaration of
Independence, which recognizes the God given
right of each man and woman to the pursuit of
American is generous. Americans have helped out
just about every other nation in the world in
their time of need. When Afghanistan was overrun
by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came
with arms and supplies to enable the people to
win back their country. As of the morning of
September 11, Americans had given more than any
other nation to the poor in Afghanistan. The
best products, the best books, the best music,
food, the best athletes.
welcome the best, but they also welcome the
least. The national symbol of America welcomes
your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of
your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest
tossed. These in fact are the people who built
America. Some of them were working in the Twin
Towers in the morning of September 11, earning a
better life for their families. [I've been told
that the people in the Towers were from at least
30, and maybe many more, other countries,
cultures, and first languages, including those
that aided and abetted the terrorists.]
can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler
did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao
Tse-Tung, and every bloodthirsty tyrant in the
history of the world. But, in doing so you would
just be killing yourself.
Americans are not a particular people, from a
particular place. They are the embodiment of the
human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to
that spirit, everywhere, is an American.
around you. You may find more Americans in your
land than you thought were there. One day they
will rise up and overthrow the old, ignorant,
tired tyrants that trouble too many lands. Then
those lands, too, will join the community of
free and prosperous nations.
And America will
above is said to have been written by a
dentist in Australia. If anyone knows
more about the author, please notify me so that
I can give them the proper credit.
It was emailed to me by my friend Thomas (Neal)
Brown 9-1-02. Thanks, Tom, for sharing
this meaningful, well-written piece. It
makes me feel very proud to be an American.