It seems so strange, somehow.
This past week we have commemorated the most catastrophic event that many of us have ever witnessed in our lives and in the life of our nation. We have mourned the ones we lost, memorialized the fallen heroes, renewed our sense of vigilance, and recalled with pride the national unity that was forged that awful day of terror and loss.
And yet, it would seem, that we have not been this divided as a nation since the Civil War. Partisan politics have paralyzed us, and the national discourse is fraught with anger and vitriol. Intransigence is seen as a virtue, and an electable one at that.
Where did they go, those survivors who were so willing to set aside religious, cultural and political differences and pull together for the common health and welfare of our nation? This is not to say that evidence of that mindset does not exist; many morally rich and unselfishly launched projects and charitable efforts survive today.
And yet the concepts of compromise and equally shared responsibility and sacrifice have never seemed so remote, so unattainable. And so one wonders: Would those who left us that incredible day recognize this country now? And would they be proud and comforted by the way we govern ourselves, if they could return for just 24 hours, today, September 11, 2011?