Reflecting on 9/11 2001 and 2020
I wonder whether such a horribly tragic event, were it to occur today, would produce a common sense of mission or purpose. According to Wikipedia, 2977 people died that day. We have had single days with COVID death tolls approaching that number in the US alone, and total US deaths are approaching 200,000.
It would be irresponsible to blame all those deaths on this administration, but it would likewise be irresponsible not to blame a high percentage on this administration, given its reckless response from the beginning and continuing to the present day.
A virus is not a terrorist, but terrorists are not the only, or even the most damning, threat to our safety and well being. I remember coming from my office while visiting in Ann Arbor that year and learning about the first plane crashing into the first tower. I also remember then going to class and learning, while doing something intended as teaching, about the second plane crashing into the second tower. And I remember so many people coming together, with tears, hugs, genuine expressions of concern, bound by a sense of community and compassion.
Was there political divisiveness? Of course. There always has been. But the terror, not the divisiveness, was regarded the genuine threat. Our world has profoundly and tragically changed.
May the memories of those who died that day, and of those who died due to COVID, forever be a blessing.