For those who lived through 9/11/2001, and perhaps especially for those of us who lived in New York then and now, today marks a sad, solemn anniversary.
I could write about our loss of innocence, or about the existence of misguided evil in this world, or about the people I personally know who lost loved ones that day, of the luckier ones who worked in the area but managed to escape harm of the visible kind.
I could write about the bravery of first responders running up stairs in the Twin Towers as people were running for their lives, or of the equal bravery and self-sacrifice of our men and women in uniform who gave their lives in the ensuing 13-year struggle in wars the wisdom of which honest people might question, but whose valor and sacrifice no honest person can deny or fail to acknowledge with deep gratitude.
I could write about the incredible bravery and sacrifice of special forces soldiers and soldiers of all stripes who willingly paid for our freedom with their blood and with their lives and continue to do so in places where chaos rules and of the no lesser bravery of war correspondents who tread the same dangerous places with only a camera or microphone as their weapon, trusting on the common decency of enemy combatants as their only shield, and whose bravery and sacrifice sometimes earn them not medals or Pulitzers but a beheading at the hands of barbarians with dull knives and equally dull wits attempting to justify their barbarism in the borrowed clothes of an honorable religion.
I could write of the bravery of elected officials with Ds and Rs and Is after their names walking together on September 11 2001 and the dark days that followed through the noxious ashes of the aftermath of the destruction–highly visible, present, active, engaged, caring and reminding us all of How politicians should act, what leadership is, and what distinguishes a civilized people from the barbarians at the gate.
But I won’t.
Instead, I will fly my flag today in memory of men and women far better and worthier than I who willingly paid the sacrifice necessary for the freedom I enjoy. God Bless them, every one. And God Bless America.