In the past year I've had the honor of going to New York City and standing at the eerie spot that once held the towering World Trade Center.
Despite the fact that it's now a construction zone, there's no doubt that you sense a lot of death happened there. It makes me believe that the disturbance in the cosmos that occurs when great tragedies happen are real and not to be forgotten.
I do believe that those who died in the Towers and on Flight 93 were innocent in the technical sense, but I also understand that because of our wealth we are a target, and any participant in the creation and maintenance of that wealth is perceived as an enemy. My question is, by whom? Is it just Islamic extremists? I don't think so.
That 9/11 morning in 2001, I woke at 6:50 a.m., just as news came out that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I said something to my husband about it, and we both thought it was just a small plane, and surely it was an accident.
In the 10 minutes it took me to start coffee and turn on CNN, I watched as the second plane hit. "Holy Shit," I thought. "This is no accident. I called a friend on the West Coast who's a newspaper reporter, who I knew wouldn't be awake, much less at work yet. I told him to get to the newsroom because the Towers had been hit, and we were apparently under some sort of attack.
As I drove to work I listened to the radio as the DJ's said for people not to panic. "Panic?" I thought, "All I want to know is "who's ass are we going to kick for this?"
Four years later, we've managed to attack two countries (let's not forget Afghanistan), we've alienated many of our allies in Western Europe, and despite all our 21st Century Technology, we can't find Osama bin Laden in his mud hut somewhere.
There's no easy answer. There may not be one at all. But I can tell you this: I don't believe what we're doing is destroying more terrorists than it's creating.
And I consider myself a patriot for standing up and saying so.