Monday, September 11, 2017

What we've lost

Again we come to the day of days, and again there are crystalline skies and bright sunshine and, yes, fear and loathing. And the bone-deep sadness that attends that.

America is not the country it was when the planes went into the buildings on this morning 16 years ago, and that is to not to our credit. What should have made us stronger has made us weaker. What should have been an opportunity to be our best selves, as a people and as a nation, devolved after awhile into what we are now: a nation awash in hatred and paranoia, led by a gibbering con man who has traded mightily on that to get where he is.

I wish I could say that weren't so. And in some ways -- the ways we respond to a common crisis, as we have in Texas and now Florida -- we do show sometimes that we are capable of rising to an occasion rather than stooping to one. We're still capable of showing that, at our core, there remains a  good heart not even the divisive rhetoric of our alleged leaders can wholly erase.

At the very least, our intentions are mostly good. So that's something, I guess.

But for everything else this day unleashed in America 16 years ago, and which unprincipled charlatans continue to exploit, I offer this. I wrote it a year ago, after visiting the 9/11 memorial. Everything in it is as true today as it was then.

And bears thinking about just as much.

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