9/11 + 730
Watched Ric Burns' final chapter in his 18 hour documentary on New York last night which focussed on the World Trade Center: the planning of it's construction, the politics behind it's conception, it's design, the impact on the city, architechtural critique, Philippe Petit and a lot more. Much of this chapter was complete when the disaster occurred. The final hour dealt with 9/11 and it's aftermath.
This excerpt from Mario Cuomo was particularly memorable:
I would like to see some depiction of all the religions list them all: atheism, ethical humanism, Catholicism, etc., etc. All of them. And you notice that each of those religions, these value systems, have two principles they share in common. And the two principles started with monotheism and the Jews: tzedakah and tikkun olam. [Tzedakah] means generally: we must treat one another as brother and sister. We should show one another respect and dignity, because we are like things. We are human beings in a world that has nothing else like us. And we ought to treat one another with love, charity-use your own words. And the second principle is: Well, what do you do with this relationship? Well, we don't know exactly how we got here, why we got here, etc., etc. That's for minds larger than ours. But we know that we are like kinds, and we should work together to make this as good an experience as possible. Tikkun Olam -- let us repair the universe. Now Islam believes that. Buddhism that has no god believes it. Every ethical humanist I ever met believes it. Those two principles: we're supposed to love one another and we're supposed to work together to make the experience better. That's all the religion you need, really, to make a success of this planet. And I'd like to see that in 9/11 somewhere. I'd like to see that captured somehow.
While the WTC disaster still tends to hold the spotlight when 9/11 is discussed, one should not make the mistake of forgetting that the lives lost at the Pentagon and on all four airliners were no less worthy of our mourning and grief. I hope that even after two years, and during every year that follows, from this tragedy we continue discover new things to learn about ourselves, our country and the world that will make this a better place to live for everyone.