Column: Humor at a temporary standstill

I believe God understands my sense of humor. And while my irreverent wit has been the disdain of my family, friends and some Oracle readers, I have always thought God is just the kind of guy who would enjoy a good joke. This past week, I think God has had other things on his mind. After last Tuesday, there has been nothing to joke about. Humor can be a great defense mechanism. For me ? humor has been my sword and my blanket. But not today.

Even as I write this column, my fingers slide across a tear-stained keyboard. There has not been a night in the past week that I have not cried myself to sleep. It is trivial to say there is a lesson to learn from this madness. But this desperate time has made us look inside ourselves and see who we are ? as Americans and as human beings.

As Americans, we have shown remarkable resilience. Many in the world see us as spoiled and self-centered. But there is so much more to the people of this country.

Americans are like the Whos down in Whoville. The Grinch may take our presents and our tinsel and even our roast-beast dinner. But the next morning, when we awake to find the trappings and trinkets missing, we still come together to sing to the heavens.

I just hope the Grinch can hear our message ? we will not be broken.

Today, we are hurt and angry. These evildoers did more than blow up a building, they came to our house ? they took our brothers and sisters.

We want justice. And justice will be done. But unlike the people who want to destroy us, we don?t charge into the streets chanting for the death of their children.

Instead, we rush to our places of worship. We sing ?America the Beautiful.?

I hope they see our strength. I hope they learn from us. As our country strengthens its resolve to fight this great evil ? we also look inside our breaking hearts. I wonder if I would have had the courage to fight the hijackers knowing that my last breath was soon to be taken?

Would I have had the strength of character to run into a towering inferno with no thought for my own life? The courage of these men and women has left indelible imprint on my soul.

Then there are the ones they left behind. My heart aches as I watch emotional refugees desperately searching for loved ones. I cannot imagine their pain. And while I grieve for the fallen Americans, I am also proud of the nation. I am astounded by the overwhelming support for the people of New York and Washington. I am overwhelmed by the dedication of the men and women sifting through the rubble at ground zero.

And through the dust and debris, flies the Stars and Stripes.

Years from now, when the pain is tucked away and you tell the story of where you were at that dreadful moment on September 11, 2001, keep this in mind: It could have been you or me in that tower or on one of those ill-fated planes.

Let us never forget.

God bless America.

Ann Norsworthy is a senior majoring in mass communications and is The Oracle senior staff writer.