September 11

Right. How many of these will there be today?

This is my memory, this is what I choose to remember, a photograph taken in October 1986 from the escalator leading up from the PATH station to the Trade Center.

escalator

I think of the liturgy of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, specifically the words “Who shall live and who shall die.” And I know that some of these people passing through or into the WTC never made it out alive several years later.

The world has never been the same since that morning eight years ago. I think of the lives shattered irreparably as “collateral damage” on and by that morning and I truly believe there are moments when the living envy the dead. The future rolled into the present as dark, uncertain, delusional, and tragic. We grieved for the employees of Cantor Fitzgerald who died that day. They were replaced by Jon Corzine and Bernard Madoff as images of the investment banking business.

Less than three weeks after the attacks, people were selling Ground Zero memorabilia off trestle stands on the street and in subway stations. The miracle is nobody killed them. The entrepreneurial spirit of America was polluted well before that day but it flowered after it.

We have descended from a flawed government to a Parliament of Fools.

Happy Remembrance Day.

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