Archive for Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Shouts and Murmurs

Heroes indelible in nation’s loss

September 19, 2001

It's hard to think of America without thinking of heroes.

On Sept. 11, some of our nation's newest heroes, men and women whose faces we would not have recognized had we met them on the street the day before, died in heroic efforts to save lives of people whom they did not know.

They died in vain, these rescue workers and those who happened to be trapped in the buildings or caught in the path of the falling debris, or riding on jets torpedoed into skyscrapers. They died at the life-choking hands of individuals who had long lost any ability to feel guilt or remorse at the destruction of human lives. The innocents' deaths leave behind families who mourn. We see front-page heartbreaking photos of a child sobbing on his mother's casket.

As a nation, we wonder.

What were their thoughts the passengers on the jets how does one comfort a child when the end is near how does one come to terms that death is calling their names, all too sudden, all too violent and all too soon.

Some passengers on the jets phoned their families to say one last I love you, one last goodbye, their words drawn from immeasurable reservoirs of courage.

The healing will be long, maybe forever, maybe never.

Our nation's revenge, it is said, will be swift, concise.

But revenge no matter how effective only causes desire for more revenge, the cycle is here, the cycle may be us, the cycle is ours maybe forever.

Broadcasters speak of normalcy of returning to the way we were. But is that possible? Will any among us ever again board an airplane and NOT think about the four tragic flights of Sept. 11? Haven't the images of the jets ripping into skyscrapers been indelibly printed in our brains?

In some strange way have we this week come closer to realizing what people in some countries have long known that humans can be the most evil creatures on earth, deliberately calculating their victims, planning their attacks. Not for hunger or survival, but because they have been bottle-fed on hatred since the day they were born.

Someone said last week that good tolerates evil, because that is the nature of good. But evil, he said, does not and will not tolerate good.

The irony is that the two must coexist on one planet.

There are no easy answers. A tragedy of immeasurable proportion has left thousands of husbands, wives, children, parents and friends to find their way without their loved ones, and left every man, woman and child in this country a victim.

Our hearts ache for the thousands of lives lost. We want to lash out at those who caused this abhorrence. Yet there is so little we can do, for the web of hatred in the world, the web of evil, goes deeper than we ever realized.

Since time began, evil has been fighting good. The events of Sept. 11 render us speechless that such an evil could occur in a society that so values freedom and strives to keep its citizens free from harm.

We don't understand why this has happened. We hope, we pray, we pick up our feet and struggle to continue, knowing all too well that nothing will ever be the same.

And as for those who died we, as citizens of a country that stands united, indivisible and one nation under God Lord willing, will join together so that ultimately our nation's new-sung heroes will not have lost their lives in vain.

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