Tuesday, August 03, 2004
God Bless America
Sat, July 31, 2004
By MICHAEL COREN
...I'm tired of the America-bashing from mediocrities the world over, and the blaming of every conceivable problem on Washington.
The last straw was, in itself, not particularly significant. It was when cyclist Lance Armstrong was spat at during the Tour de France. Spat at because he is an American. We do not know his politics, but his girlfriend, Sheryl Crow, is an opponent of George Bush. That didn't matter. The man was American and thus worthy of disdain.
So, almost three years later, I say it again: God bless America.
For leaving half a million men on the battlefields of Africa, Asia and Europe during the Second World War, a conflict the United States could easily have sat out. For effectively forcing Japan to declare war and thus joining the alliance of light against the gang of darkness. God bless America.
For that farm boy from Nebraska who had never even heard of Normandy or Sicily, who wanted so much to walk back from the hill but continued on, the bullets flying over and around him. For his not turning back. For his determination to do his duty and for his dedication to freedom. God bless America.
For being prepared to rip the country apart in a bloody spasm of civil war because, however delayed and reluctant in some quarters, the leaders and people knew that slavery was wrong. For seeing the future dawn when others could only see the enveloping night. God Bless America.
For Lincoln and Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Truman, Kennedy and Franklin, Jefferson and Adams. For Mark Twain and John Steinbeck, Henry James and Scott Fitzgerald, Melville and Whitman. God bless America.
For the legion of Nobel Prizes won with grace, for the medical breakthroughs celebrated with decorum, for the sporting records, the intellectual triumphs, the moral victories, the glory. For embracing "yes" rather than hiding behind "no." God bless America.
For the vibrant pastures and forests, for the mountains and valleys that startle, for the cities and the towns, the highways and back roads. God bless America.
For jazz and pluralism, baseball and religious tolerance, burgers and equality. For inventing and pursuing an ideal that, though not always achieved, is still glorious in the making and pristine in the chasing. God bless America.
For the billions in foreign aid, greater per capita than any other country in the world. For the food, clean water, medicine, machinery given to every continent on Earth. For the Marshall Plan and Marshall Dillon, for Tom Sawyer and Tom Hanks, for New York and for the New Deal. God bless America.
For inviting Irish, Jew, Italian, Pole, German, Hispanic, black, Asian, man and woman, all and every into the highest levels of government. For being the first nation in the world to treat the outsider as a guest rather than a problem. For being a melting pot rather than a melting society. God bless America.
For allowing God and prayer and faith to enter public life and for not running scared of gratitude to the Almighty for all that He has given us. For not lauding the religion of secularism whilst lambasting the religions of the church and synagogue. God bless America.
For being right more often than being wrong. For being the nation that still leads the way in so many ways, still lights the path on so many days. For being you. For being. God bless America.