The weather today is exactly as it was nine years ago on this date. Overnight lows nearing freezing, early morning fog dissipating to a brilliant sunshiny blue sky. Chilly, with autumn colors rapidly nearing full display.
By late morning the weather was spectacular, but inside our hearts it was the blackest of black. Loss of hope left room for despair as two immense buildings fell in an avalanche of steel and concrete, men and women.
Today our world is filled with troubles--war, economic woes, diplomatic failures, and political angers. An Islamic imam in New York insists on going forward with a building that many, including me, consider provocative and insensitive.
A pastor in Florida is condemned for lack of tolerance and sensitivity for threatening to burn the Quran.
How many Western religious books have been desecrated in the name of Islam? How many Bibles did the US Military destroy to avoid even the appearance of U.S. GIs proselytizing? How many home-made "care" packages went to Iraq and Afghanistan devoid of pork products in sensitivity to Muslim beliefs?
Tolerance and diplomacy must travel in both directions for it to succeed. Where's the tolerance from Islam?
After the anger and horror of 9/11, the feeling I remember most is how America came together in love and patriotism. I still retain that feeling.
It's something that, in addition to victims of terrorism, we should never forget.