The despicable evil that invaded America on Sept. 11 evokes emotions literally indescribable. Words fail to fully express the ache in every American's gut.

The horrific acts of that Tuesday morning showed the world insanity never before witnessed.

Those scenes on television will forever seem a little like a Hollywood action movie, even though we all know it was too real and horrible.

When John F. Kennedy was assassinated, I was in Dallas. There was bewilderment and uncertainty then as well. Like all Americans, I was glued to the television and read every newspaper word for days — just like now. However, now is so different than that dark day in Dallas.

Pearl Harbor for me is largely an event in a history book or the subject of a documentary. However, I have visited the USS Arizona twice and tears were shed both times because of what films and books have taught me about Dec. 7, 1941. Now, though, is much, much different.

Our president had tears in his eyes as he stood in the Oval Office hours after the four hijacked planes crashed into a shocked America. He spoke compassionately of lives shattered by wicked cowardice.

There is no weakness in George W. Bush. He demonstrated that forcefully in his address to the nation from Congress. It was an unparalleled display of courage.

Those planes slicing into the World Trade Center towers did not pierce the heart of America. As Seattle Times columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. said, it only served to make known to Americans and the world the depths of hatred.

Thousands died on Sept. 11, but America did not perish. The tragedy of that Tuesday strengthened Americans like the world has never seen. It has always been the United (not divided) States of America. Those who perpetrated the unspeakable on America are about to learn just how united this country has become.

To you contemptible bastards who think American is a spoiled, divided nation, think again. Hijacking four airplanes and killing thousands of us only served to convince the Americans you did not murder to drive you into the bowels of hell.

America has never been a ruthless nation. We have forgiven many, but we will not forgive those who planned and financed the terror on this land. It is interesting Bush continually calls for justice — not mercy, and justice be served. We will hunt you down and destroy you and then return to a nation of diversity and differences among ourselves. And, we will once again enjoy the full freedom you only think you took away.

Bickering has now stopped, and America is together behind its leaders maybe as never before.

We are a spoiled nation, intolerant of inconveniences. We want everything now and don't want to wait. However, as was the case during World War II, America has already demonstrated it is ready to be unselfish. The outpouring of support in terms of financial contributions, blood donations and similar actions has quickly transformed America into a nation of self-sacrifice.

The world is waiting for a response. A reply will come, and it will be an answer with the force of all Americans behind it.

No one relishes a war where young people die, even defending America's freedom. But a war has been thrust upon us and Americans will not turn away.

Vile acts of terrorism did not tear America apart. It united her as perhaps never before.

e-mail: hcline@primediabusiness.com