Wednesday, April 09, 2003

"Something".....what exactly is it?

It is "something", although I don't exactly know what. It is fueled by passions such as rage, pride, fear, anger, and desperation. It is welded into our minds by such places as Bella Wood, Antietam, Khe Sahn, Khafji, and Normandy. It turns ordinary people into extraordinary least in the minds of others. It makes us do things that we wouldn't ever dream of doing on a normal day. What makes a Ranger cut a cast off of his arm to join the fight? Is he bloodthirsty? Crazy? Perhaps he is simply devoted.

What is that "something"? I wish I could put my finger on it. From jumping on grenades, to charging machine gun nests, it makes some people look like they have no regard for their own lives. Or is it that they simply have more regard for others lives. What makes a GI split his rations with a hungry kid in a foreign land? What makes us want to spread a smile and goodwill just as much as other people perceive us to be spreading our government and so-called decadent lifestyles? What makes a person breathe his last breath and use his last strength to help someone from a different place, different religion, and different skin color just because he has on the same uniform?

That "something" has driven the success of the American Experience since long before we were independent. That "something" has driven us to always look to the horizon, to always look down the road. We have never had any fear of the unknown, nor a fear to explore. That "something" has cause us to err in our ways, and mistreat some people, but we still try and get back on track the best way we can. It is that "something" that lies dormant when times are good and occassionally let's us at one another's throats. But when times get tough we forget petty differences and stand together as determined Americans.

That "something" is what got us to the place where most everyone hates us, but demands that we do more for them. That "something" can't be bought or learned but everybody seems to want it. I am not sure what that something is, but it is deep within the essence of America. If I could bottle it and mass produce it I would so everyone could feel the glory. That is the American Way.

An American Marine carries a wounded Iraqi soldier to an Aid Station for treatment.

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