To think and act anew

We must not expect our nation’s wound to heal quickly: It is too deep and the pain is too profound. We Americans expect instant healing. “Let’s put it behind us—get over it—get on with life,” we say, as if it were inappropriate to allow tragedy to be tragic for more than a day or two.

I hope we don’t get over this too quickly. To do so would be to excuse ourselves from a painful but necessary period of national introspection. I do not mean to say, as some have, that we brought September 11 on ourselves, that the collective political and moral foibles of the American people resulted in us “getting what we deserved.” Not at all.


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