My Dear Lyubochka,
You know an awful thing has happened here.
As I am writing there is a broadcast from Yankee Stadium, a public prayer for those who perished…Everyone is in tears. And although they are crying, I see how proud they are to be Americans. I envy them.
I didn’t know – at least I had not had this feeling before – what so-called patriotism was. But I know now what American patriotism means. I can’t find to find right words to describe it; I only feel it and it touches me to tears. And suddenly, I have the sense that I belong, that their grief is my grief, too; their dead sons are my sons; their sisters and daughters who did not come back from the high floors of the Twins are my sisters and daughters.
How do they make me feel this way?
Maybe the answer is that they don’t make me; instead, they suffer sincerely, all of them, the ones who lost their loved ones and the ones who, fortunately, did not.
People hold pictures. They call their vanished ones “our dear ones” and “the heroes.”
The longer I live here, the more often I ask myself what kind of magnet this country is. Why the people the whole world over yearn to come to the United States and often put their lives at risk to do so? Why do they willingly endure the difficulties, which are even bigger then those they had in their own countries?
Why are they ready to start everything anew, even those who might think that at their age, life has been left behind? Why are they willing to make a new life in another country with no knowledge of the language and no money to speak of? Why do they ready to suffer the humiliation of trying to get an American visa?
Why? Why? Why?
I got the answer during these days after the tragedy: It is the chance to unite with the spirit of this inexplicable nation. As one of the speakers said. “We are all of different nationalities, but we all are of the same nation.”
Lyubochka, this was my answer to your question about my impressions of the United States. Please write me back soon.
Response to the article:
Staten Island Advance
September 22, 2011
By Joni Clark
Re: “Reflections of that Day”
Thanks to the Staten Island Advance for printing “Reflections”, written by members of families whose loved ones perished on the day of the horrific terror attacks.
I know several families who suffered such losses and my heart and prayers go out to all. I admire the strength and courage each person affected has shown in the depth of their heartbreak, loss, and sorrow.
I have read many supportive and patriotic letters about America and its freedoms, but no letter of support ever touched my heart more than Marina Osipova’s “Letter to Moscow”.
So many take our freedom for granted, so many criticize America; it was heartwarming to read Marina’s observations of “our patriotism, our tears of pride, sharing our grief, our suffering sincerely, our uniting with the spirit of this nation.”
Thank you to all families who wrote reflections. God bless all, and thank you, Marina, for your beautiful thoughts about America.