Saturday, November 26, 2005

AT GROUND ZERO

We hadn't intended to go there and when we got there it didn't feel like a war zone. But our decision to ride the subway into the financial district of lower Manhattan brought us to the site of the World Trade Center yesterday afternoon. Silence surrounds the place and one feels awe looking across the chasm. It is a sacred space. Simple recollection of that day and its aftermath fills in the pieces and overwhelms one's senses. God bless the men and women who labored and lost and gave themselves completely in this place.

SINCE THEN. Realization of our national leaderships' over-reactions, choice of direction, and squandering of momentary international empathy and resolve also overwhelms. Over the tragic loss of 3,000 lives in a single terrorist attack, more than 500,000 people have since been killed in retaliatory and so-called "pre-emptive" U.S. military and secret intelligence-led torture operations. Of course our leaders try to justify this as necessary to maintain our freedoms and make the world a safer place. But the equation doesn't work--not from any sane logical angle.

A HOPE AND A PRAYER. I will put it as graciously as I can: We have not been led well through this time of national and international crisis. I hope for dramatically different national and international guidance in the years ahead. Let us change our course. Let us repent genuinely of our complicity and violence. Let us step back from the brink. Let wisdom begin to prevail.

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