“I am not an American.” This statement from the American-born killer of all those folks in Orlando was uncovered during the investigation. I reflected on that statement as I picked raspberries; I do some of my best thinking in the berry patch.
World War II ended when I was 5. I hammered on a tin pot while the neighbors blasted away with their shotguns that evening in Arlington, Mass. No. 1 buckshot rained down on all the roofs. How exciting.
I entered first grade the next year in Burlington, Mass., and on my first ride on the school bus, I was accosted by two big menacing kids as I neared the back of the bus. “Are you protestant or Catholic?” they demanded. Not really understanding the question at the age of 6, I figured I was about to get my face busted. Scared, I blurted out, “I’m an American!” They sat down, perhaps befuddled (What kind of answer was that?), and let me pass.
How many young folk today would reflexively say, “I’m an American”? How many of the folks desperate to be in the U.S.A. will proudly state, at some point, “I’m an American”? Too few, I fear.
Bruce C. Anderson, Nampa