September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document

Story:TOWARD A MORE PERFECT UNION

I worry. I worry that I'm just starting my life, and I have no idea where the world is headed. I worry that I could end up in the middle of a war. I worry that I could be just one casualty among thousands in some random terrorist event. I have no control over whether or not my country gets into a war. I have no control over anything.

That was true before 9/11, but I wasn't fully aware of it. Now I am. I'm young enough that 9/11 will change my whole life, and I'm old enough to know it.

I wish I didn't feel relief when I see a soldier from the National Guard in Penn Station. I wish Paul could be rambunctious and carefree, like he was before his father died. I wish I could believe again that America is untouchable.

Nothing good has come out of 9/11; it's not possible to salvage something good out of such a nightmare. The two things that some suggest as good outcomes were the charitable giving and the rise in patriotic fervor. The reality is that 9/11 didn't instruct people to be generous; generosity was already in the hearts of those people. As for the second notion, patriotism boiled over into nationalism, and the result was a desire for violence. During the weeks following 9/11, even New York cab drivers were at risk of attack from hot-headed nationalists.

I don't feel that I know enough to say whether or not the Bush administration has a firm grasp on the situation and understands what to do next. All I can do is hope.

This is why I worry.


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