We’ve come a long way in the last fifteen years. So far that a mattress store in Texas felt this was an appropriate ad–
and a Florida Walmart set up a Coca-Cola display like this–
I think that sort of thing would have been unheard of even a few years ago.
But perhaps not. Tragedies have never been immune to jokes, like the old Pearl Harbor joke:
I held the door open for a Japanese man today and he said “sank you”. I’m not sure if he was thanking me, or bragging about Pearl Harbor.
I could talk about where I was on 9/11/01 and how I witnessed the world change over the ensuing 15 years. I remember it vividly and the world did change as a result of that fateful day.
I could list the name of every victim and ask you to pause for a moment to remember them. But would you? If we are being honest with one another, most would just click out of this post.
So how do we think about 9/11? Or do we keep thinking about 9/11? When do we stop mourning, especially when we have so much to mourn about this year alone. Will we ever be able to move on?
It seems to me that we honor the memory of those lives that were lost in looking at instances in which this tragedy brought about the best among us. If you have a few moments, read this Wall Street Journal column by Peggy Noonan on Welles Crowther, “the man in the red bandanna”. (I do apologize that I am linking to what appears to be a hyper-partisan website, but the original WSJ column is behind a paywall).
The way I see it, courage comes from love. There’s a big unseen current of love that hums through the world, and some plug into it more than others, more deeply and surely, and they get more power from it. And it fills them with courage. It makes everything possible.
People see the fallen, beat-up world around them and ask: What can I do? Maybe: Be like Welles Crowther. Take your bandanna, change the world.
We’ll be back to travel tomorrow, but be inspired by the true story of Welles Crowther and do not forget to ponder on what you can do to change the world for the better.