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A comment from a Romanian Newspaper

Romanian Newspaper Editorial


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

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

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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