On September 11th, 2001, someone woke up with a smile, thinking this would be a beautiful, but totally ordinary day.
On September 11th, 2001, someone else woke up with a frown, already worrying about how to feed the children.
On September 11th, 2001, yet another person was just going to bed. Perhaps the sun was setting on their side of the world, or it was rising and the late shift was finally, thankfully over.
On September 11th, 2001, some one woke up and said "This is the day".
On September 11th, 2001, that person decided to change the whole world forever, irrevocably, for better or worse.
On September 11th, 2001, over 5,000 people, from over 40 different countries, died, because that person said so.
Since then, it seems the whole world is talking. For the first time, nations that have virtually been mortal enemies are talking, conversing with each other, seeking not only to understand, but also to support each other and unite, speaking with one voice, seeing with one eye. The world has never been as small as it became on September 11th, 2001.
We hope this special section will keep stimulating the conversation so that we can look into the future and see a world that is different in a way that is good for all of humanity. Join us in our new forum to discuss the issues. One planet, one people, one voice.
September 21st, 2001.
In the Wake of Terrorism
One of the hardest ideas to wrap one's mind around is that God loves and values every other living individual just as much as oneself. We do not want to believe that our sin is no less serious than the sin of the terrorist. After such deliberate acts of violence as the airplane highjackings and suicidal crashes of September 11, 2001, this is particularly difficult.
A Quaker perspective
I am firmly of the opinion that we will want and need every willing back, every strong hand in friendship, every erg and dyne of support we can get. This is not a conflict that calls for a measured, careful response. This is a conflict that calls for an overwhelming, careful response, and continued commitment. The enemy has billed this as a war of cultural annihilation. Either they remove us, or we will remove them.
People have hyped events and crises and disasters throughout modern history. This time, however, no amount of coverage could be adequate to the loss and devastation that has occurred. A black pit has replaced the heart of what may be the most active city in the world. Tokyo is denser, Washington D.C. more powerful, and Los Angeles perhaps more glamorous, but no city can compete with New York for sheer relentless drive. And now there is a crater in this city, a hole where two of the most amazing creations of that drive ever built, once stood.
The View From Here
I walked into my classroom this morning, and found a room full of scared, worried young women. Classes have only barely started for this semester, so my students didn't know me that well yet. As soon as I came in, they asked, "Are you from America?" When I said yes, they asked if I had friends or family in Washington or New York. I told them I had friends in Washington, but they were alright. I said I'd been awake until three am, to make sure everyone was safe.
A Conscientious Objector's Thoughts and Confusion
I wanted to write a few words about how the events of the past week have affected me. As some of you may know, I became a conscientious objector (from within the military) to the Vietnam War, refused my order to go to war, was court-martialed, and went to prison. Willingly. That singular decision set the course for the rest of my life and became the basis for the system of moral, philosophical, and spiritual beliefs that have guided me for the past 30 years. This system of beliefs has been absolutely clear in my mind during all that time.
In Seattle, thousands of miles away from the physical location of the September 11th act of terrorism, people gathered to mourn the deaths of innocents, to celebrate the American spirit, and to express their desire for peace. The cities are on opposite coasts, but share many qualities: a diverse, multicultural population, a busy airport where many transcontinental flights depart from daily, and an internationally renowned skyline. In the background of Puget Sound is a cluster of skyscrapers, like the Columbia Tower and the Bank of America Building. To the north of downtown is the Space Needle, built in 1962 for the World's Fair.
Amidst the Tears
Amidst the tears of fear, horror and anger are those that bathe us with healing warmth. Last Friday, September 14, Seattle officials designated the International Fountain at the Seattle Center as the location for a memorial service for our lost brothers and sisters. The service was to last three hours and people were invited to place flowers around the fountain.
Something to Claim
It has become clich‚, that generation X has had nothing to claim to as far as national tragedy. We aren't our parents; we didn't fight, or watch Vietnam. We were not around when our grandparents witnessed the holocaust, and we weren't even there when the world fell into a deep depression. We even missed Pearl Harbor. Some of us remember Kuwait; however, we have always been told, "it wasn't a real war."
I'm sorry, Mama
A poem/song dedicated to all the mothers who lost a child in the attack on America September 11th, 2001. Inspired by all the mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, uncles, aunts, sons and daughters who were left to tell the tale of that "one last call".
I love you. Goodbye.
I didn't lose a loved one on September 11, 2001, but I was inspired by the number of people who called home to say goodbye. In the face of death, they didn't call 911. They called those they loved, offering comfort with their last action on earth. The power of love triumphed in the end. Here is something I wrote, imagining I was on the other end of that phone call.