Do you remember?
It was stunning: A perfect morning. Planes cruising across an impeccably blue sky and crashing into shining towers standing tall and invincible under a brilliant sun in the symbolic heart of the richest, most mighty nation on earth. Suddenly, nothing was what it had seemed to be. Suddenly, every certitude crumbled, collapsing with the skyscrapers amid clouds of ash and smoke and falling bodies.
Stunning, too, was what followed. Remember? People opened. In the devastation, the walls between us came down. We shared our pain, our sense of vulnerability, our sense of loss. There was an outpouring of compassion, here and there and everywhere.
And then remember what came next? Fear took over. Hearts closed. War and destruction and xenophobia triumphed.
Now, 10 years later, I’ve been reading and hearing in so many different places from so many different people stories of what they remember of that incredible moment: What they tell are tales of sharing, of listening, of helping, of opening, of unity.
Even The New York Times wrote today, « Perhaps in time we will realize that the full meaning of what happened on 9/11 resides in the surge of compassion and hope that accompanied the shock and mourning of that September day. »
« In time »? Perhaps. And how about now?