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Archive for September 11, 2019

Sept. 11, 2019 — Time and perspective

I haven’t done much in the way of personal reflection in this space the last few Sept. 11ths. You’ll notice the last entries for today have ranged from bulletins to decrying Larry Nasser, rather than focusing on 9-11.

For me, it’s just another day.

Which is what you can’t say for the families of some 4,000 souls lost 18 years ago today, as well as the hundreds of first responders and construction workers who have since died as a result of either PTSD, or having worked at the World Trade Center excavation site.

Sometime around 10:30, at a lectern at the site of the 9-11 Memorial in New York City, they’ll read the name “Edward R. Hennessy, Jr.”

He was a college classmate.

When he died, he left a wife and two children. I had a chance to meet them a few years ago at our 25th Reunion. Rachel, his daughter, spoke eloquently to our memorial gathering in the chapel.

Today’s anniversary is a bit more poignant than most because it has been 18 years. That means there aren’t any high-school students who have lived (much less remembered) a time before the 9-11 attacks.

Today, I think about the sweeping ramifications on foreign and domestic policy, as well as the entry procedures for most government buildings and aircraft. But you should rethinkĀ some of our nation’s actions in the aftermath of the disaster, starting a nearly 20-year involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq which seemingly is a war without end.

There’s a movie coming out soon called “Official Secrets” which calls into question the entire rationale for the 2003 Iraq invasion, which is universally labeled as being under false pretenses.

The toppling of the Hussein administration led to the creation of the merciless Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terror group as well as an enormous refugee wave that even a prosperous and united Europe is seemingly having trouble handling.

In other words, contrary to a certain banner tied to an overhang on a military ship during a photo opportunity in 2003, the mission is certainly not accomplished.

Which is why we should remember this day.