The Spirit of America

Shared by Ann Clothier

Ann Clothier, who was kind enough to share her personal story of 9/11 in another article, is our contributor of this next story:

This is a letter to the editor sent in by Victor Maltsev of Rego Park published on 9/10/03 in the New York Daily News.

On September 15, 2001, I saw an “Open Letter to a Terrorist” (author unknown) attached to a light pole in Manhattan. I took a picture of it. English is not my first language, but, in my view, this letter should touch the soul of every American.

“Well, you hit the World Trade Center, but you missed America. You hit the Pentagon, but you missed America. You used helpless American bodies to take out other American bodies, but like a poor marksman, you STILL missed America. Why? Because of something you will never understand. America isn’t about a building or two, not about financial centers, not about military centers. America isn’t about a place, America isn’t even about a bunch of bodies. America is about an IDEA.

There’s a spirit that tends to take over people who come to this country, looking for opportunity, looking for liberty, looking for freedom….We don’t live in America, America lives in us! American spirit is what it’s called. And killing a few thousand of us, or a few million of us, won’t change it. Most of the time, it’s a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of spirit. Until we’re crossed in a cowardly manner, then it becomes an entirely different kind. Wait until you see what we do with that spirit this time.

“Sleep tight, if you can. We’re coming.”