August 4, 2002
The Real Americans
Last weekend citizens of this wonderful country and probably the world, watched in anxious anticipation as nine Pennsylvanian coal miners were rescued from the bowls of a coal mine, that had become flooded, when due to inaccuracies in their maps, caused the breach in a wall where an amount of water was located.
No doubt there will be investigations and a heck of a lot of finger pointing. As well there should be. But for now we rejoice in their rescue!
While Americans watched it was noted the volunteerism that ensued to rescue these trapped men. Resources and equipment were brought in from all over, and the Governor was very much involved. But what amazed me were the ordinary men and women. These are real Americans.
These are the people you see everyday. They are your police department, your fire department. They are your store clerks, or the guy that pumps your gas. They are RR workers, truckers, and cabbies. They are construction workers, and office workers, these are the real Americans. They are not heroes, just people doing their jobs. Ask them they will tell you as much.
We marvel each day at the movers and shakers of our country and yes they are Americans too. But it is the average Joe, the average citizen that keeps this country running. Folks like you and me, plain folks, simple folks.
America is unlike any other in this world. Each and every one of us are born with an opportunity to achieve greatness, to become as successful as our far as our dreams and ambition will take us. Most of us become the average citizen. We have our little piece of the pie and for the most part as satisfied. I know I am content. I work hard, put in long hours but I see the fruits of my labor. I heard a song once called I Got It Honest that seems to sum up many Americans. The recent scandals are not a real picture of America, or Americans, they are just the few bad apples.
It was with this in mind while I watched the rescue of these nine brave men. Men that risked their lives to provide for their families. Hard working, average Joes those are the faces of America. Not the corporate meeting rooms or the high halls of government. No nothing but hard working people.
It is people such as these that are first on the scene at any disaster anywhere in the world, anytime, any day! When there is a problem, a disaster, where there is a need, it is Americans that usually are the first to respond or on the scene.
I hear many America haters and blame America Firsters that are constantly critical of our nation. Ok yes, we have imperfections but we deal with those imperfections through the rule of law. We are the wealthiest nation in the world; we are also the most generous as well. A nation, one nation, under God, dedicated to liberty and justice for all. A nation of the average Joe; the faces of America.
I was going to end this at the above paragraph, but on my way home, I overheard a conversation. It is the story of two men on a bus. Both wore shirts promoting and blessing the United States. One of Spanish decent, the other of Chinese decent. One spoke English with a heavy Spanish accent, the other with a Chinese accent. Both were able to communicate with the other. One was a construction worker, a carpenter by trade. The other was a cook. One man had been here a very long time. The other a very short time. BOTH spoke with praise and pride of their dreams, their hopes, of what they wanted to achieve in America. NIETHER spoke of their old countries. These two are also the face of America.