September 09, 2011

The Day of the Silent Sky

I was told what had happened by a young waitress, over coffee and pancakes.  I cherish that I heard from a real human voice.

One of my professors, who was from Europe, asked what America was likely to do. I said: "Our vengeance will be terrible." 

I saw the wreckage three months later. A thousand fliers of the missing: New Yorkers, on weathered photocopies.

As before, a great nation stirred.  But our bad leadership and obsessive judgement weakened us, and it made for bad wars.  To add to the loss of our brother and sister Americans, we lost - and are still losing -soldiers who wanted to serve their nation, their generous and hopeful and humanistic nation, at its best; and we killed a lot of people, easily a hundred thousand, far too few of whom were the malicious and deluded and evil men we had a right to destroy.  And we tortured, not in desperate moments, but as a matter of state.  On 9/11, blinded by grief, steered by fools and criminals, America lost our way. 

What a lost opportunity.  Criminally lost. How I wish that perfect blue in that sky silent of aircraft had been the rise of a democracy's much greater aspiration.