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I got this in my e-mail the other day and thought everyone might like to read it.
Cam

>Published Wednesday, September 12, 2001
>Leonard Pitts Jr.
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>We'll go forward from this moment
>
>It's my job to have something to say.
>
>They pay me to provide words that help make sense of that which troubles the

>American soul. But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears sting
>disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find to say, the only words that seem

>to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author of this suffering.
>
>You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard.
>
>What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's attack on our World
>Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we would learn?
>Whatever it was, please know that you failed.
>
>Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause.
>
>Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve.
>
>Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together.
>
>Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and quarrelsome family, a
>family rent by racial, social, political and class division, but a family
>nonetheless. We're frivolous, yes, capable of expending tremendous emotional

>energy on pop cultural minutiae -- a singer's revealing dress, a ball team's

>misfortune, a cartoon mouse. We're wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready
>availability of trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of that, we

>walk
>through life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement. We are fundamentally

>decent, though -- peace-loving and compassionate. We struggle to know the
>right thing and to do it. And we are, the overwhelming majority of us, people

>of faith, believers in a just and loving God.
>
>Some people -- you, perhaps -- think that any or all of this makes us weak.

>You're mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong in ways that cannot

>be measured by arsenals.
>
>IN PAIN
>Yes, we're in pain now. We are in mourning and we are in shock. We're still

>grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you did, still working to
>make ourselves understand that this isn't a special effect from some
>Hollywood blockbuster, isn't the plot development from a Tom Clancy novel.

>Both in terms of the awful scope of their ambition and the probable final
>death toll, your attacks are likely to go down as the worst acts of terrorism

>in the
>history of the United States and, probably, the history of the world. You've

>bloodied us as we have never been bloodied before.
>
>But there's a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making us fall.

>This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last time anyone

>hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us such abrupt and monumental

>pain. When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible in our force.

>When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any

>cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.
>
>I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my people, as you, I

>think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble with

>dread of the future.
>
>In the days to come, there will be recrimination and accusation, fingers
>pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to happen and what can be

>done to prevent it from happening again. There will be heightened security,

>misguided talk of revoking basic freedoms. We'll go forward from this moment

>sobered, chastened, sad. But determined, too. Unimaginably determined.
>
>THE STEEL IN US
>You see, the steel in us is not always readily apparent. That aspect of our

>character is seldom understood by people who don't know us well. On this day,

>the family's bickering is put on hold.
>
>As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn, and as Americans, we

>will rise in defense of all that we cherish.
>
>So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to me that maybe

>you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that's the case,
>consider the message received. And take this message in exchange: You don't

>know my people. You don't know what we're capable of. You don't know what you

>just started.
>
>But you're about to learn.
>
>THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
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>--part1_8b.c3fc1b6.28d2ea4a_boundary--
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