Remember, Remember the 11th of September…

A plane hit the World Trade Center. My roommate’s words didn’t register.  I rolled over and went back to sleep. 

Later, as I reached for a cup of coffee, then-President Bush sat in front of some kids looking stunned and, for once, we may have been thinking along the same lines – – well, this changes things…

A year later I was sitting, silently sipping a cup of tea inside a canvas tent, three thousand meters above sea level near the Tuvan border.  Next to me my Mongol guide wept for those who had lost their lives. 

He’d never been to the States.  Had no family or friends there.  America was no more than an ephemeral media blur yet he was deeply compassionate in a way I hadn’t been. 

Why was he and I was not? Because of my political angst at our decision to launch a war of what, disgracefully, seemed an awful lot like payback?  Youthful cynicism?

I cried that day… shame, humility and some painfully introspective questions.

Slightly more than a decade later, 1,400 Syrians were murdered in the night. Millions more are displaced, more than 100,00 dead and all go to bed tonight at risk…

Slightly more than a decade later, I find myself thinking about the way the world has changed since 2001, the choices we are faced with on this 11th of September, our moral obligations, justice, of compassion and war.


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