Phil Harris

Surely, you have received at least one forwarded email, which is a tribute to "The Americans." The text is a heart-pumping, pride-swelling rebuke to the world, which has been overly critical of America, and was purportedly written by a Canadian journalist. If you have never received one of these, then all of your friends must live in France, Germany, or that America loving bastion in South America, which is run by Mister Potato Head himself, Hugo Chavez.

We all watched in nauseating horror as our towering giants shattered, and fell onto a smoldering rendition of hell on earth. Before the last chunk of concrete hit the ground, few of us had any doubt that we had been attacked by evil doers of some form or another, and almost as fast, these emails began to arrive throughout the fruited plains. September 11, 2001 was a day when all of us needed a pat on the back.

President Bush did a great job of that in the days following 9/11, especially when he stood on that truck with his bullhorn, and swore that the perpetrators would feel America's wrath. This email and others like it gave everyone an opportunity to pass that resolve on to friends and family.

It is a beautiful piece of work, but its allure has more to do with the surprise that one of those ultra-liberal Canadian journalists could have written such a thing. My reaction was more … "All Right! That means a lot to me… thank-you for sticking up for us!"

Of course, that spoilsport phenomenon called a sneaking suspicion begins to creep into the fringes of my euphoria, and I suspect that this is some kind of email hoax. A small investment in Google powered detective work reveals the answer, and I was surprised to learn that it is both. The thing is a hoax and not a hoax at the same time.

Turns out, it was written by a Canadian journalist, or more accurately, a Canadian radio broadcaster. However, it was written in 1973, as America was taking a pounding about Vietnam. It was written, and delivered by Gordon Sinclair on his regular broadcast at CFRB in Toronto.

The piece was instantly loved by America. It was re-broadcast with permission on stations everywhere, was read numerous times into the Congressional record, and it was revealed to be an inspiration to Ronald Reagan. Later, when President Reagan was visiting our northern neighbor, he was able to meet with Gordon Sinclair, where he expressed that he often listened to the recording, when pressures were getting him down.


Phil Harris

Phil Harris is a software engineer, author of Cry for the Shadows and blogs at Citizen Phil.

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