Monday, September 11, 2006

The Battle Between Good And Evil

In the polarized clash to the sound-bite culture that has become politics since 9/11, we sometimes forget that there were moments in time that the course of action was clear and united. Today's Courant offers a window on such a moment, with an article on what course of action was undertaken by Connecticut children of those killed that day. It is worth a read today as a reminder that the frail construct of surviving never ends.
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

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is why you see so many flags flying today - Republicans, Democrats and other Americans. There's a commonality that was visceral five years ago and it brings comfort to rekindle.

Chris MC said...

Thoughtful and nuanced post from Turfgrrl.

You're right A2:28, now that you mention it, it is rather comforting. I don't think I ever felt it with regard to WWII, and I'm wondering if this is an inkling of how people who lived in that era felt after it was over.

What I remember is Vietnam and the constant tension of the sixties and the seventies. I can imagine, I think, why that experience might have raised nostalgia in people. Is that where the "Happy Days" hit TV show came from?

Today it is "reality" TV that is anything but, and "American Idol" which about quite the opposite. It seems that the name of the game today is to come up with new franchises based on "jumping the shark".