Sunday, September 11, 2011
It’s an odd thing. One of our nation’s darkest days was one of my profession’s finest hours. Even more unsettling for me personally, I was not at work. I was at home watching it on TV.
Looking back, what strikes me is the failure of machines, systems and institutions. With a budget of billions -- for decades -- the Department of Defense was shown to be a Department of War. America was defenseless. Airport security was shown to be the joke we all knew it was. Communications systems that were thought to be sophisticated turned out to be merely expensive -- and weak.
But what shows through most clearly is the triumph of people. Despite suffering the mental shock of the unimaginable, people rallied and performed. You’ll hear hundreds of their stories today. They faced a situation most had never dreamed of with the same human spirit that seems to be universal and ageless. I hope we learn to put more faith in our fellow man and less in our own creations.
September 11, 2011