Look around now - something in the air has changed. The American Spirit hasn't been this strong in decades. The X and Y generations which previously were apathetic at best about government are at rallies... Flags fly from balconies of many apartments... The Stars and Stripes are seen in the back windows of cars, on the walls of restaurants... anything they can find, be it a cutout from the newspaper or one of the lucky people who made it to the store and bought a flag of fabric or plastic to display with pride.

On Monday night, the New York Mets played at Pittsburgh - it was the first professional sports game in a week. In years past, people regarded the singing of The Star-Spangled Banner as a delay to the game and grudgingly stood and sang along to a second rate singer adding too much vibrato and trying to get a few more people recognizing the name. For the first time what what seemed like years, there was something behind the music that hasn't been heard in decades. The music of almost 200 years ago struck a chord with those gathered to pay tribute to the most American of sports - baseball. It wasn't any professional singer that gave tribute to the song, but rather a choir of a dozen or so with the support of a concert band - just every day people.

On Friday night, the first base ball game in New York since the terrorist attacks, not a soul argued to hurry up the game during the opening ceremony honoring the police, fire and emergency response teams - civil servants who have become national heroes. In a ball park where Giuliani was routinely booed in games past as a Yankees' fan he received the largest ovation known to Shea Stadium. Above the scoreboard a miniature New York City skyline stood, with a red, white and blue ribbon covering the World Trade Center's twin towers.

All across America, something has changed. On Capitol Hill, unprecedented cooperation between the parties with each completely supporting the other and the president.

For the first time, it seems like people have pride in America and have given a serious look to what we took for granted just two weeks ago. However, it has come with a great cost. Thousands of lives have been lost, and likely many more in the days to come. All across the nation there are incidents of racial and religious intolerance.

One has to wonder how great of a cost that we, the people of America will accept upon ourselves and impose upon others.

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