Whatever Happened to American Miracles?

Whatever Happened to American Miracles?
By Anthony Harris
Editorial Staff Writer

     Twice in the month of January, there have been cave-ins at various mines in West Virginia.  Twice in the month of January, those cave-ins have resulted in the deaths of courageous miners thinking of nothing more than working to support their families.  Twice in the month of January, I watched the news during the attempted rescue missions thinking that these miners would have the opportunity to return home.  And twice in the month of January, I was wrong.
     I figured that this sort of thing didn’t happen in America.  We have the fairy tales of happily ever after.  In our darkest hour, we always prevail.  No one expects plane crashes into our grand buildings.  No one expects hurricanes to destroy our cities.  These things don’t happen to us, and if they do, we rise above the situation and everyone goes home, watches reality television and opens a Budweiser.  It’s the American way.
     Not only have we failed to save the common man twice over in a two-week period, but we have also failed the hope that people have in America.
     Whatever happened to our American Dream?  It used to be a house in the suburbs and a two-car garage.  We can’t even make an honest living due to company embezzlement.  Our kids don’t go to college because Congress cut financial aid.  We can’t effectively fight a war overseas because our strategy is misguided and lack the resources.  Our president no longer believes in the constitution so he wiretaps our citizens.
     Maybe it’s just a bad time for America.  Maybe we’ve lost focus on what F. Scott Fitzgerald was truing to tell us or we didn’t watch those sitcoms in the 50s close enough.
     I don’t know about you, but I could really go for a rescued miner or a freed journalist in Iraq right now.  I need a new American tale where justice and democracy prevails.
     Somewhere in this nation, there’s another Thurgood Marshall fighting injustice that I’m not seeing.  There’s a Carl Sagan making a yet-to-be-seen discovery that’ll give me wonderment again.  Carter G. Woodson is asking new questions that I’m at the edge of my seat to hear.  Somewhere in America, we’re being Americans again.
     There’s a place in America that can lift West Virginia’s spirits.  There’s a place in America that can teach President Bush the Constitution.  There’s a place in America where John Steinbeck is being reborn.  There’s a place in America where we have regained our hope.
     Is it here?


Anonymous said…
who are you to shake your fist at God and demand he do miracles for your edification? Herod did that. But if your chasing the skirt of Carl Sagan, then you don't ebleive there is a God to do any miracles, right?
The point of the piece, which I wrote five years ago now, was not my shaking my fist at God but more so that American ingenuity is not overcoming these problems as we have been known to do in the past.

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