Before September 11,2001, in ones concerns it was as everyday happening, business, school, work and etc. and the question what it is to be an American was not at the fore front of anyone thoughts. The fact of the matter was patriotism and Americanism was not even at the tip of anyone mind. Then . the inevitable shocked us and woke us up from our daydream, to bring us face to face, with our reality nightmare. America was all too comfortable with a naive sense "nothing can touch us and noting can hurt us." After all we are Americans and nothing ever happens to America. So was it, that we were so comfortable that we let our guard down? What does constitute a good and just society? As professor Stanley Hoffman summarized, " the united states expects gratitude and affection." So why don't they like us?.
We "Americans" have a tendency to get caught up in ourselves. And once in a few years we are reminded or should it be said we are snapped into the reality of being a part of a global entity that is our earth. For example, World War II was thought of as the war "over there", "over seas", but the events that occurred on December 7,1941 at Pearl Harbor, noting at that point could compare to the awakening and the realization that America could be struck and struck hard. America although all might and powerful could be challenged, and even made to look weak. Another snap into reality was when American were taken hostage in Iran. Was this also used to show the powerless and weakness of America? In all cases from Pearl Harbor to the hostages in Iran and to the tragic event of September 11th 2002, people in the United States found patriotism and Americanism. Why does it take a tragedy or profound event , for society to rally around patriotism and our stars and stripes? A possible answer might be that fact that we are too comfortable with our way of life. To include to this comfortablism our civil rights to protect us from anyone and everyone including our own government.