Ashley Gilligan was a week into her senior year at Norwalk High School when her 43-year-old father, Ron, disappeared from his desk in the Cantor Fitzgerald brokerage firm on the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center's north tower. Just 17, she had to confront what she calls "the worst about the world" without letting it break her. She set about training as a firefighter and emergency medical technician, and is now pursuing a career in medicine.
Also today, Washington Monthly posts a speech Al Gore made in 2002, five months after 9/11. It's another window on a moment in time, and this one too should serve as a reminder that the we Americans deserve better than packaged sound-bites which signify nothing.
I don't pretend to any received wisdom but I learned a lot from my experience in the Clinton-Gore administration: lessons I think are worth remembering and incorporating into the normal practice of our diplomacy — and of protecting from the vicious rip- tides of our politics. I know from experience that bi-partisanship is no easy matter. It is difficult to go against one's own political base, whether it’s a Democrat supporting the MX missile or a Republican trying to cancel an obsolete 70 ton artillery piece.
Above all, I learned that our engagement with others on behalf of common values is something that must be of profound intent, and of long duration. It isn't enough to destroy what is evil, and then seek to leave by the nearest door. We must make the commitment to work with those whom we have rescued until they can stand on their own feet.
The Hartford Courant The Children Find A Deeper Purpose By LISA CHEDEKEL, September 11, 2006.
The Washington Monthly FOREIGN AFFAIRS.... , Kevin Drum, 09/11/06