The American Spirit


Perhaps you have noticed the new flags all over campus, hung out of windows with only the friction of the pane and the frame to hold the cloth straight. Perhaps you have heard a fellow student blasting “I’m Proud to be an American,” but that song is excused during quiet hours. Just maybe you have adorned something red, white or blue consciously this week. Or maybe you held the door for that old woman at the supermarket when you saw she was having trouble.
From the evil that exposed itself from a cloud of smoke on September 11, a backlash of decency and goodness occurred for the most part.
Thousands of people flocked to the blood banks as soon as they heard about the massive blast. Some people waited as long as four hours to give blood. Students on Quinnipiac Campus were forced to leave phone numbers and wait to be contacted by the Red Cross. There was a multitude of fellow students and members of the community, which had a surprising turn out.
Food drives have been set up, candles are being lit and prayers are being said for the victims, firefighters, rescuers and all affected by this national tragedy. Tears are being shed, in hopes that the deceased will rest in peace.
Collectively, we as Americans are together mourning this loss, and attempting to keep strong the best way we know how. Some how this tragedy has served to restate in many American’s minds how lucky we truly are and how much we often take our Stars and Stripes for granted.
But don’t get the message twisted.
Not all Americans have experienced a feeling of camaraderie with their fellow Americans. Many Muslim Americans have been the brunt of bigotry and hatred in the past few days. Stories of mosques being defaced and children being harassed at school are enough to make one’s stomach churn.
For some reason I had assumed that we would have learned something from the injustices toward the Japanese in WWII. Innocent people placed in internment camps, blamed for something they had nothing to do with. Obviously, we as a human race are not paying enough attention to the mistakes of the past, look at all of the destruction, horror and injustice that has taken place in the last week.
Pride is one thing, prejudice is another with no correlation between the two. Somehow these words get intertwined in times of chaos.
On a final note, I congratulate and urge all those unsung heroes to keep up the good work. With each flag hung we enliven it, with each act of prejudice we injure it. The American spirit.