Ode To Spirit
Does the name, Cornel Nistorescu ring any bells for anyone? I’ll give you a hint – he isn’t an American. How about the name, Gordon Sinclair? He isn’t American either – but I’ll say this, they have shown more understanding of what it is like to be American than far too many of my native countrymen have lately.
You might recall that soon after 911 an article circulated around the internet, originally published in the Romanian newspaper, Evenimentul zilei ("The Daily Event" or "News of the Day") on September 24, 2001. It was titled, "Cîntarea Americii" (Ode To America”) and the author was Cornel Nistorescu. This is the English translation of that article: Source
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 colours 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 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 of 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!
Almost six and a half years have passed and all but erased this “solidarity spirit” of which Mr. Nistorescu so eloquently wrote. Just pick up any newspaper here at home, or listen to any media analyst or even college professor in the country and you will hear only of our disunity, negativity, “divisiveness”, selfish insistencies on being “taken care of” by our government, and our total disrespect for the mere mention of some of our “galloping history”. We can’t even remain unified in battling the obvious threats to everything we are and everything we hold dear. We’re a whining bunch of weaklings that had rather deny the truth of our enemies’ intentions than support the righteousness of our struggle to survive with our freedom and our heritage intact. At least that is what can be observed.
What would it take to rekindle this solidarity spirit and embrace the truth that makes us uniquely American again? Well, we would have to hear a lot more truth than falsehood expressed by our own media and extolled from the podiums of academia than we do now. Or, some will tell you that all it would take to see that unity, that spirit shine through again would be another vicious attack from the outside. Would that remind us that it certainly wasn’t the first time? Would that awaken us to memories we so quickly buried of innocent people jumping to their deaths rather than being roasted alive? Would that again bring so many in the liberal entertainment world forward to raise millions of dollars for the victims? Would that bring about another rush on the Chinese factories that produce most of our flags because Americans would be clamoring to hang out our symbol of unity for all the world and our neighbors to see?
I would suggest that an honest study of our history, heritage and heroes should be sufficient, as well as an honest assessment of our blessings – THAT should be more than adequate to quell the divisiveness.
From this source I pulled the following background story of how Canadian, Gordon Sinclair was inspired to write a couple of pages that he then broadcast over his radio show in Toronto. The piece was quickly picked up and circulated under the name, “The Americans”. By the time Mr. Sinclair passed away some eleven years later, he had garnered the respect and attention of a grateful nation. More than an educational generation has passed since his death, and I can guarantee that his message is not being taught in our schools – even though if it were, we may well see more of that solidarity spirit.
On June 5, 1973, Gordon Sinclair sat up in bed in Toronto and turned on his TV set. The United States had just pulled out of the Vietnamese War which had ended in a stalemate - a war fought daily on TV, over the radio and in the press. The aftermath of that war resulted in a world-wide sell-off of American investments, prices tumbled, the United States economy was in trouble. The war had also divided the American people, and at home and abroad it seemed everyone was lambasting the United States.
He turned on his radio, twisted the dial and turned it off. He picked up the morning paper. In print, he saw in headlines what he had found on TV and radio - the Americans were taking a verbal beating from nations around the world. Disgusted with what he saw and heard, he was outraged!
At 10:30, on his arrival at CFRB to prepare his two pre-noon broadcasts, he strode into his office and "dashed-off" two pages in 20 minutes for LET'S BE PERSONAL at 11:45 am, and then turned to writing his 11:50 newscast that was to follow. At 12:01 pm, the script for LET'S BE PERSONAL was dropped on the desk of his secretary who scanned the pages for a suitable heading and then wrote "Americans"" across the top and filed it away. The phones were already ringing.
Gordon Sinclair could not have written a book that could have had a greater impact in the world than his two-page script for THE AMERICANS. A book should have been written on the events that followed. But, no one at CFRB, including Sinclair himself, could have envisioned the reaction of the people of the United States - from presidents - state governors - Congress - the Senate - all media including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines - and from the "ordinary" American on the street. Nor, could have the Canadian government - stunned by the response to what has come to be regarded as one of Canada's greatest public relations feats in the history of our relations with the United States of America.
But, how did Sinclair's tribute to Americans reach them? It had been swept across the United States at the speed of a prairie fire by American radio stations - first, a station in Buffalo called and asked to be fed a tape copy of the broadcast with permission to use - both freely given. Nearby American stations obtained copies from Buffalo or called direct. By the time it reached the Washington, DC area, a station had superimposed Sinc's broadcast over an instrumental version of BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER, and was repeating it at fixed times several times-a-day.
Congressmen and Senators heard it. It was read several times into the Congressional Record. Assuming that it was on a phono (33 1/3 rpm), Americans started a search for a copy. CFRB was contacted. To satisfy the demand, CFRB started to make arrangements with AVCO, an American record company, to manufacture and distribute it as a "single".
As they were finalizing a contract that would see all royalties which would normally be due Gordon Sinclair be paid (at his request) to the American Red Cross. Word was received that an unauthorized record, using Sinclair's script but read by another broadcaster, was already flooding the US market. (Subsequently, on learning that this broadcaster had agreed to turn over his royalties to the Red Cross, no legal action was taken).
Sinclair's recording of his own work (to which Avco had added a stirring rendition of THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC) did finally reach record stores, and sold hundreds of thousands of copies, but the potential numbers were depressed by the sale of the infringing record. Other record producers and performers (including Tex Ritter) obtained legal permission to make their own versions. In Ritter's case, because of the first-person style of the script, Tex preceded his performance with a proper credit to Sinclair as the author. The American Red Cross received millions of dollars in royalties, and Gordon Sinclair was present at a special ceremony acknowledging his donation.
Advertisers using print media contacted CFRB for permission to publish the text in a non-commercial manner; industrial plants asked for the right to print the script in leaflet form to handout to their employees.
Gordon Sinclair received invitations to attend and be honoured at many functions in the United States which, by number and due to family health problems at the time, he had to decline. However, CFRB newscaster Charles Doering, was flown to Washington to give a public reading of THE AMERICANS to the 28th National Convention of the United States Air Force Association, held September 18, 1974 at the Sheraton Park Hotel. His presentation was performed with the on-stage backing of the U.S. Air Force Concert Band, joined by the 100-voice Singing Sergeants in a special arrangement of The Battle Hymn of the Republic.
8 years after the first broadcast of THE AMERICANS, U.S. President Ronald Reagan made his first official visit to Canada. At the welcoming ceremonies on Parliament Hill, the new President praised "the Canadian journalist who wrote that (tribute)" to the United States when it needed a friend. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau had Sinclair flown to Ottawa to be his guest at the reception that evening.
Sinc had a long and pleasant conversation with Mr. Reagan. The President told him that he had a copy of the record of THE AMERICANS at his California ranch home when he was governor of the state, and played it from time to time when things looked gloomy.
On the evening of May 15th, 1984, following a regular day's broadcasting, Gordon Sinclair suffered a heart attack. He died on May 17th. As the word of his illness spread throughout the United States, calls inquiring about his condition had been received from as far away as Texas. The editorial in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune of May 28th was typical of the reaction of the United States news media - A GOOD FRIEND PASSES ON.
U.S. President Ronald Reagan: "I know I speak for all Americans in saying the radio editorial Gordon wrote in 1973 praising the accomplishments of the United States was a wonderful inspiration. It was not only critics abroad who forgot this nation's many great achievements, but even critics here at home. Gordon Sinclair reminded us to take pride in our nation's fundamental values."
Former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau: "Gordon Sinclair's death ends one of the longest and most remarkable careers in Canadian Journalism. His wit, irreverence, bluntness and off-beat views have been part of the media landscape for so long that many Canadians had come to believe he would always be there."
Following a private family service, two thousand people from all walks of life filled Nathan Phillips Square in front of Toronto's City Hall for a public service of remembrance organized by Mayor Art Eggleton. Dignitaries joining him on the platform were Ontario Lieutenant-Governor, John Black Aird; the Premier of Ontario, William Davis; and Metro Chairman Paul Godfrey. Tens of thousands more joined them through CFRB's live broadcast of the service which began symbolically at 11:45 - the regular time of Sinc's daily broadcast of LET'S BE PERSONAL.
As Ontario Premier William Davis said of him "The name GORDON SINCLAIR could become the classic definition of a full life."
(recalled by J. Lyman Potts who was "there")
"LET'S BE PERSONAL"
The United States dollar took another pounding on German, French and British exchanges this morning, hitting the lowest point ever known in West Germany. It has declined there by 41% since 1971 and this Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least-appreciated people in all the earth.
As long as sixty years ago, when I first started to read newspapers, I read of floods on the Yellow River and the Yangtse. Who rushed in with men and money to help? The Americans did.
They have helped control floods on the Nile, the Amazon, the Ganges and the Niger. Today, the rich bottom land of the Mississippi is under water and no foreign land has sent a dollar to help. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy, were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of those countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.
When the franc was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.
When distant cities are hit by earthquakes, it is the United States that hurries into help... Managua Nicaragua is one of the most recent examples. So far this spring, 59 American communities have been flattened by tornadoes. Nobody has helped.
The Marshall Plan .. the Truman Policy .. all pumped billions upon billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now, newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent war-mongering Americans.
I'd like to see one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplanes.
Come on... let's hear it! Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tristar or the Douglas 107? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all international lines except Russia fly American planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or women on the moon?
You talk about Japanese technocracy and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy and you find men on the moon, not once, but several times ... and safely home again. You talk about scandals and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everyone to look at. Even the draft dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, most of them ... unless they are breaking Canadian laws .. are getting American dollars from Ma and Pa at home to spend here.
When the Americans get out of this bind ... as they will... who could blame them if they said 'the hell with the rest of the world'. Let someone else buy the Israel bonds, Let someone else build or repair foreign dams or design foreign buildings that won't shake apart in earthquakes.
When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke. I can name to you 5,000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble.
Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.
Our neighbours have faced it alone and I am one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles.
I hope Canada is not one of these. But there are many smug, self-righteous Canadians. And finally, the American Red Cross was told at its 48th Annual meeting in New Orleans this morning that it was broke.
This year's disasters .. with the year less than half-over… has taken it all and nobody...but nobody... has helped.
PUBLISHED BY STAR QUALITY MUSIC (SOCAN)
Where does the truth hide?
We should not have to dig for stories like this – for information on people such as Mr. Sinclair and Mr. Nistorescu. They should be front and center in the textbooks our children are taught from, as recognizable as any movie star, past or present, that you can think of, as familiar as any of the foreign rock stars that have ever won awards and made their fortunes from the American public’s consumption of their art forms – in other words, they should not be confined to obscurity. But then, what are we to expect when real American heroes are being eliminated from textbooks, or suffering a rewritten history of their accomplishments?
Man On the Street interviews of the “average American” these days show a despicable lack of knowledge about our current political leaders, but have you ever tried asking a young person to tell you what he knows about George Washington, or Thomas Jefferson? How about Robert E. Lee? Are school children being taught to retain anything they learn about the history of their country?
People are not being educated any more, they are being brainwashed – pure and simple. Indoctrinated into a belief system that heroism is not important and freedom is not worth the price of responsibility, today’s average citizen is being led around by an emotional nose ring of exaggerated guilt from a few of humanity’s greatest shames. Man’s inhumanity to man in the form of subjugation and slavery is not uniquely American, but the descendants of American slaves have been so convincingly plied with the notion that they are still seen as sub-human by the majority of people in the world, I think all that will satisfy them is some kind of superiority or reparations for the suffering of their ancestors. Many do not mince words in telling you so. The continent of Africa must be given top billing in their identity label for themselves even though few could tell you their ancestral country of origin. Indeed in some of those countries their native modern peers still suffer much greater inhumanity than was ever suffered here. But they will not answer to that. They wish only to hold onto a fictional bitterness and an imagined reality of victimhood.
The same may be said of some in the Native American community. These people are seen as gentle victims of the evil white man, when in actuality the white invaders are the very reason many survived as a tribe instead of being destroyed by other tribes that knew only hatred and war against them. But they also will not answer to that.
Then there is the gender war. American women of all races and all religions have formed a sisterhood against “the man” whom they credit with all their feminine woes. They act as if they as a group are still suppressed, suffering as an underclass, and due a rise to unequaled power. They will not be happy with anything less than an Amazon society where men are subjugated to the will of the much stronger females. They insist on foolishly using their wombs as a bargaining chip and the male sexual drive as their equalizer. With no thought of the effects their attitudes will have on the survival of the species, much less the survival of moral heritage, this is perhaps the most dangerous group of imagined victims in America today.
Evil human intent thwarts God’s law when it tells us that human dominion over the other vast species and environs of the earth is flawed, therefore we should subjugate human welfare at all costs. According to this thinking there is no justification for human impact on the rest of the earth. We may as well be battling the dinosaurs with our bare hands as we try to reach those entrenched in radical environmentalism. For those who say they believe in a Creator, yet still hold such views, how can they possibly have such little faith in God’s judgment – that which clearly gives us dominion and a spirit fashioned from His own? Non-believers must continue an evolution to a point where humanity becomes extinct to have their point proven I guess.
All of these groups have been spawned deliberately by the real evil human intent at work all over the globe. For those who wish to see freedom stamped out forever and will stop at nothing to stir up a revolution to that end – we are their victims!
Being a victim is not something I intend to embrace. I have been blessed beyond measure to be born of wonderful parents, to grow up in more freedom than the world had ever known – before or since I was young, and inspired to seek truth over fantasy and do my best to pass that along. I have been witness to more “change” than any other generation this country has ever produced – both wonderful change and that not so great. Change happens naturally. The good and lasting change evolves – the dangerous kind is coerced or mandated. Honest history sorts it all out quite well, but you have to be willing to learn it and accept it. Most of all you have to be patient with the constant ebb and flow of positive change and you have to nurture the spirit with more appreciation than regret about events that lead to the present so that you can be an able guardian of that spirit that will direct the future. God bless America and all those who know her for what she truly is.