It has been two weeks since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York and the U.S. Pentagon building in Washington D.C. and I have an admission to make: it has become a difficult task to be an American for the time being.
As Americans, there are groups out there that want to harm us as well as violate the safety of our nation and this was successfully done on that fateful Tuesday, September 11, 2001, for the whole world to witness.
The alarming fact is that many of those groups “out there” in many cases happen to be operating within our borders. It could even be the neighbor across the way for all you know. And believe me when I say that this enemy has many faces, reasons and causes.
Be it Muslim extremists, racist nazi skinheads, anti-government survivalist fanatics, women’s clinic bombers or paranoid tweakers, the faces of the enemy are various.
As we watched the carnage unfold on television it became obvious that this enemy doesn’t need tactical nuclear devices, or biological or chemical weapons to get the job done, and this is the most dangerous type of terrorist.
This type is willing to use whatever means are available, regardless of consequence or loss of innocent lives, and the simpler the system, the better. Who would’ve thought that commercial jetliners would be used as guided missiles against major population centers? It couldn’t happen here, but it did.
Yes, it is difficult to be an American, but not only because of acts of terrorism like the ones we witnessed recently as a nation. The problem also lies within us as well.
One of the things I kept hearing people say throughout the attacks was that they had a feeling of helplessness and vulnerability. While these feelings are understandable, they should not persist if we, as Americans, are to remain strong.
Instead of focusing on the negative aspect of this experience, we should focus on the outpouring of help and assistance that was provided to those fellow Americans in need by people all over our great nation.
Whether it was donating blood or money, pulling victims from the wreckage or even just praying for those affected by this tragedy, we came together to show that Americans will always be there for each other, no matter what part of the country disaster may strike.
This is the time for all Americans, regardless of race, religion or background, to put aside partisan issues and work together to bring those responsible to justice and to assure that this kind of evil act never occurs again.
You may or may not agree with everything that America stands for or who our president is, but as Americans we can put aside these issues to get the job done and let our commander in chief do the job necessary to restore the security of our nation’s borders. We’re Americans and we’re strong.
The strength and resiliency of this nation has fascinated me since I was a child and witnessing all the acts of concern and good will by people from all over the country towards those directly affected by the terrorist attacks made me realize that when the chips are down, Americans care about each other.
In the coming days we will hear of many tales of courage and valor from the hellish heart of the beast that was once the World Trade Center towers and the U.S. Pentagon.
My only wish is that we Americans take those tales to heart and gain the strength necessary to face the present adversity in a strong and effective manner.
Strength in the face of adversity is what has always made America the nation that all others have turned to in times of need and crisis. The crisis amongst us is far from over and the battle will be a long and drawn-out one. But we can overcome this adversity to show the rest of the world that America is still strong.
The reality of the matter is that yes, the terrorists won this round. But there are many more rounds to come and rest assured that America will prevail in this fight.
We’ve overcome adversity and tragedy on many occasions in the past and each time we’ve become stronger from the experience. This current tragedy will be no exception.
In unity there is strength and in strength there is hope. We are Americans, we are united and we shall prevail, as we always have. God bless America and the souls of those innocent victims lost in the tragic series of events as well as those who risked their lives for the safety and rescue of others. May we never bear witness to anything like this again.
Henry Sarria is a longtime resident of Isla Vista.