An ode to America

Why are Americans so united? They don't resemble one another even

if you paint them! They speak all the languages of the world and form an

astonishing mixture of civilizations. Some of them are nearly extinct,

others are incompatible with one another, and in matters of religious

beliefs, not even God can count how many they are.

Still, the American tragedy turned three hundred million people

into a hand put on the heart. Nobody rushed to accuse the White House,

the army, the secret services that they are only a bunch of losers.

Nobody rushed to empty their bank accounts. Nobody rushed on the streets

nearby to gape about. The Americans volunteered to donate blood and to

give a helping hand. After the first moments of panic, they raised the

flag on the smoking ruins, putting on T-shirts, caps and ties in the

colors of the national flag. They placed flags on buildings and cars as

if in every place and on every car a minister or the president was


On every occasion they started singing their traditional song: "God

Bless America!".

Silent as a rock, I watched the charity concert broadcast on

Saturday once, twice, three times, on different TV channels. There were

Clint Eastwood, Willie Nelson, Robert de Niro, Julia Roberts, Cassius

Clay, Jack Nicholson, Bruce Springsteen, Silvester Stalone, James Wood,

and many others whom no film or producers could ever bring together.

The American's solidarity spirit turned them into a choir. Actually,

choir is not the word. What you could hear was the heavy artillery of

the American soul. What neither George W. Bush, nor Bill Clinton, nor

Colin Powell could say without facing the risk of stumbling over words

and sounds, was being heard in a great and unmistakable way in this

charity concert.

I don't know how it happened that all this obsessive singing of

America didn't sound croaky, nationalist, or ostentatious! It made you

green with envy because you weren't able to sing for your country

without running the risk of being considered chauvinist, ridiculous, or

suspected of who-knows-what mean interests.

I watched the live broadcast and the rerun of its rerun for hours

listening to the story of the guy who went down one hundred floors with

a woman in a wheelchair without knowing who she was, or of the

Californian hockey player, who fought with the terrorists and prevented

the plane from hitting a target that would have killed other

hundreds or thousands of people. How on earth were they able to bow

before a fellow human?

Imperceptibly, with every word and musical note, the memory of some

turned into a modern myth of tragic heroes. And with every phone call,

millions and millions of dollars were put in a collection aimed at

rewarding not a man or a family, but a spirit which nothing can buy.

What on earth can unite the Americans in such a way? Their land?

Their galloping history? Their economic power? Money? I tried for hours

to find an answer, humming songs and murmuring phrases which risk of

sounding like commonplaces. I thought things over, but I reached only

one conclusion.

Only freedom can work such miracles!


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