Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven Years Later

Seven years ago today, I got up and turned on the TV just before 8:00 am CST. They were showing a live shot of the World Trade Center with smoke coming out of a hole on the side. Some expert was speculating on whether it was an accident or something sinister.

I called Cheryl in the room and as we watched, the second tower was hit. In a world of Hollywood disaster movies, it was over too quick. Our reaction was, “did we just see what we thought we saw?” The morning show host interrupted the expert on the phone line: “I think we can safely say this was not an accident.”

In the following weeks and months we wondered if life would ever be the same again. Sadly, it did not take long for things to go right back to “normal.”

America was briefly reawakened that day. We learned a lot in 2001 and in the years since:

Evil exists.
But people will bend over backwards to deny that evil exists.

We saw what a country full of people putting others first would look like.
We also saw that religious extremists on both ends of the spectrum think very much like each other.

We have a lot of heroic people in this generation; from flight 93 to firefighters to our armed forces.
But we do not have the strength of resolve as a country that we did 60 years ago.

We could have and should have been more vigilant.
We also have learned that a lot of our politicians remain incredibly naïve.

There are a lot of conspiracy theorists pathologically out of touch with reality.
We also learned that there is nothing so sacred on the one hand or stupid on the other that some politicians won’t use it.

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