An open letter to the enemies of my country

(Written 0n 9/12/01)

A few weeks ago there were a lot of things wrong with this country, but it hadn't always been that way...
There was a time when America was a great country, filled with people of all walks of life who believed in their gods and lived for the imminent realization of each others hopes and dreams.
There weren't as many millionaires then as there are today. There weren't as many automobiles. Fewer people had telephones and hardly anyone had a television set.
But people knew their neighbors and they cared about them.
They watched each others children and they ran errands for each other.
In the cities, wives shared morning coffee on fire escapes and talked about their children while they hung laundry on clotheslines strung from tenement to tenement.
The grown children of immigrants taught school, built churches and fixed automobiles.
They dug ditches, worked on the subways and raised skyscrapers.
They tended bars and waited tables in restaurants. They swept the streets, directed the traffic, put out fires and cared for the sick.
Most families had very little in the way of material things, but everyone had something and it was usually enough to get by. Then things changed.
Parents who had been raised with nothing wanted to see that their children and grandchildren had it all....the best education, the best clothes, the best chance for success and prosperity. They fought a great war to protect that dream and over the years, one generation enjoyed a lifestyle as safe and secure as the world had ever known.
Never having fought to earn freedom, they saw no reason to fight to protect it. Those who did answer that call were considered fools for not finding a way out of it.
The first priority of the average Baby Boomer was to take care of Number One.
Americans forgot where they came from, how they got here and who had kept them here.
There were far too many homeless yet an exponentially greater number took all of America's blessings for granted.
They were fat, dumb and happy or fit, quick-witted and focused only on what was of personal consequence. An air of arrogance had come to define the typical American. Many of the better-educated and the affluent had come to believe that comfort, prosperity and success were their due.
They worked hard for what they had, but they didn't understand that without our American freedoms, their hard work would come to nothing.
They had lived safe and content here for decades and as they enjoyed the fruits of sacrifices made by strangers in uniforms, they became complacent.
Some less fortunate, were content to grumble and grouse and blame their circumstance on anyone who had more than they did. Since they believed no one had ever sacrificed anything for them, they were damn sure not sacrificing anything for anyone else.
They had come to believe that government handouts and charity born of guilt were their just entitlement.
While many Americans helped each other, some Americans fought each other.
While many Americans fed each other, some Americans hurt each other.
While many Americans nurtured each other, some Americans abused each other.
For the most part however, except for those occasions when society dictated otherwise, most Americans ignored each other.
Pain, suffering, want, hunger, oppression and fear were all abstract concepts that held little meaning for people whose greatest concern was how to spend their rebate check.
But you finally changed all that.
You came uninvited one bright Tuesday morning and knocked on our door.
With your fundamentalist disregard for the laws of mankind and of the god you profess to serve - that same callous disregard that has come to define you and your cause, you made a loud statement that will live forever in the minds and hearts of those who heard it.
It should not have surprised us.
We should have heard you coming.
We should have heard you when you murdered our friends and fellow citizens at our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
We should have expected you after you attacked our sons on the USS Cole.
We should have anticipated your actions after the countless times you butchered innocent women and children in Israel.
But even then, the over-schooled and under-educated bleeding heart idealists among us who preferred to believe rather than think, urged patience and understanding.
Full of cheap incoherent and naive rhetoric, they bought into your self-serving pontifications and sought resolve through acquiesence and the surrender of our own freedom and national security.
Your statement on that bright Tuesday morning was clear and unambiguous.
You told us that you hate us because we are Americans.
All of us.
Well, we heard you.
All of us.
We ARE Americans.
In your attempt to teach us a lesson, you taught us the one thing we needed most to remember.
We are Americans and we are known for our ability to put personal differences aside in times of crisis and to join together to defeat any aggressor.
Yes, we heard you... and now it is your turn to listen while we speak.
We are coming for you... Make no mistake.
We are coming for those who harbor you and for those who support you.
And when it is over, we will deal with those who cheered your criminal acts.
This time there will be no fat, grinning, bespectacled cow of a woman dancing in your streets in a tasteless celebration of our grief.
It will not be easy for any of us.
It will not be quick or glorious.
But it will be soon.
It will be decisive.
It will be America's way of saying: We heard you!
You probably won't be repeating yourself...but if you do, we'll answer again and again and again ... whatever it takes for as long as it takes. Best regards,
One thoroughly pissed-off American with much improved hearing. God bless us all,
Gunny Fallon