“It would be a busy day. Two planes hit the World Trade Center a few minutes before our deadline. Another hit the Pentagon. Another went down in a Pennsylvania field. About 3,000 people died. We put out a special edition. It was all so confusing then and I can’t really say that time has helped.
That is true of many things these ten years. I was on desk when we invaded Afghanistan. Then we invaded Iraq. Each felt like pain medicine, temporary relief to larger, unresolved problems. And now the wars are still here, no relief in sight.”
“On this, the 10th anniversary of September 11—something that for many marks us Americans as people who have been sinned against in a profound and unforgettable way—a text on forgiveness, the likes of which we have here in Matthew 18, might be the perfect opportunity to speak a little truth about what is really in our hearts.”
“Here’s a sneak peak at the National September 11 Memorial that will be officially unveiled tomorrow. I agree with the sentiment expressed in the video that this will likely become New York City’s number one destination.”
I’ve rerun the first piece I wrote concerning 9/11 five years ago. It still holds up, I think. I’ll add a few comments at the end:
“And I think we have to call this thing what it is – evil. Flying planes into buildings is evil. Bombing nightclubs and mosques is evil. Providing a cash stipend to the families of suicide bombers is evil. Pushing elderly men in wheelchairs into the Mediterranean is evil. Blowing up subway trains is evil. This is what we still face, five years on. I cannot predict where we will be in five years from this day, but I can only assume that we will still face evil. And saying “I don’t want to see that” will remain insufficient.”
“We have become a more fearful place. Muslim Americans are viewed with suspicion. Our immigration system has become punitive; we are a long way from the nation that welcomed our grandparents fleeing persecution and pogroms in the early part of the last century.
The world stood with Americans in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks; but we have expended the coin of global goodwill. The world has become a more unstable and dangerous place over the past 10 years. It is time for introspection, for a national cheshbon ha’nefesh, soul-searching, to regain our ideals, to become a nation that really stands for freedom and justice.”
“I switched on the television. Typically I don’t have the TV on during the day and would not have known about the terrorist attacks until much later.
From that moment on, I could not take my eyes off the screen even though I worried about exposing my son and a younger boy in my care that day to the news coverage. How would they react? And did they truly understand the gravity of what was unfolding in our country?
I attempted to explain the situation, to tell the boys this was ‘real’ and not some television show. They continued playing with whatever toys they had out at the time—I can’t recall.
But clearly they were listening and watching, for soon the two pulled a box of wooden building blocks from the toy box. Then they pulled out the toy airplanes.”
“It’s been a decade since 9/11, with its terrible rumblings shaking the foundations of our free and open society. That is reason enough to pause, but there is another anniversary that is coming up as well. This is the third anniversary of the meltdown on Wall Street that has defined our economy ever since. As the kids go back to school and the northern hemisphere starts to tilt toward the chill of fall, this is a reflective time. Knowing how we got where we are may not be a great predictor of where we will be in the future, but the straight line between then and now is all we have as a guide.”
This week’s blogs:
- Neorenaissance: Science and Antiscience at the Reagan Debate
- Turning 55 and fed up with healthcare costs
- The Deets: The More We Learn, the Uglier the Arden Hills Vikings Stadium Proposal Looks
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