As day breaks in the shadow of the nation’s capital on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I’m thinking about my visit to the Newseum earlier this week.
What affected me most, was the video retrospective of 9/11. It is a deeply moving account of that day as told by journalists who were there.
What occurred to me after seeing it, was that the terrible shock and loss of that day was amplified by our obviously mistaken belief that it could never happen here. Since then, our society has changed in ways we never could have anticipated.
From our routine submission to TSA inflicted indignities at the airport, to the absolutely certain knowledge that all of our electronic communications are being monitored by the NSA; we know that our free society is less free today than it was before 9/11.
But are we really safer than we were back then? Is what we have given up worth what we have allegedly gained in security?
I’m not sure we ever really will know the answer to those questions.
So for now, let’s just remember those who died on 9/11, and honor those who tried to save them.They were just ordingary people going about their ordinary lives on what turned out to be an extraordinarily bad day.
But on that day, ordinary people became heroes. Their example gives us hope that if ever tragedy strikes again; we will be as kind, as selfless, and as effective in our efforts to be of service when we are needed most.