First, let me extend a truly heart felt thank you to people all over the world who shared a moment of silence today. As Perry’s pictorial post shows, although the loss was centered on America, the grief and the support is global.
One of the things they teach in the modern American corporate culture is Franklin Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Habit number 5 is Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. Over this past year, I have struggled to apply that habit to the September 11 attacks. Albeit simplistic, this is so far the best I could come up with.
It came to me this morning as a local radio station played some school children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, which ends “with Liberty and Justice for all.” That in a nutshell is what America is all about. A fact verified by the millions of immigrants who arrive destitute on her shores and build a life of peace and prosperity within her borders. And that, in a nutshell, is what her enemies hate. It is not just that we own color TVs, drive big cars and live in relative peace in nice houses. It is that ANYONE, regardless of race, color, creed, sex, political inclination or background, ANYONE who comes here can, with a little effort, share that same life.
These terrorists know in their hearts they can never contribute anything positive to the world and instead hate all those who try. Like the vandal with a sledgehammer defacing a statue, they have decided it is easier to destroy than create. Instead of swearing allegiance to a nation that values its citizens, they swear allegiance to a crazed individual who lashes out at the world to fulfill a personal vendetta.
What they have yet to realize is that reducing tall buildings to rubble and snuffing out innocent lives does not make a profound political statement. But it does speak volumes about the tiny, hateful, cowardly minds that conceived of and carried out the destruction. Evil minds that, once eradicated, the world will neither long remember nor ever lament.