There is more writing and exploring of ideas that I’d like to do here, at some point. I’ve been investing my time in other endeavors: my work, building a treehouse with my kids and spending a “Dad Camp” week with them, helping out in our Cub Scout pack, and building my mental and physical resilience through regular exercise and Tae Kwon Do training. These are things I cherish and count myself fortunate and grateful to be able to do.
I’ve also taken a more stoic view of things in recent years. As the span of time since that terrible day grows ever longer, the pace of change in our cultural state, or my perception of it, seems to have slowed. Things seem to have settled into a momentary stasis or more viscous flow, and my attention has shifted to the very long term: to where this Civilization of ours may be headed over the coming decades and centuries. The primary question on my mind has become, as I related in some form last year: What happens when a culture that believes fanatically in itself, and in its right to kill, subdue, or enslave unbelievers in its unhesitating quest for dominance, comes into contact with a culture that has been taught to fear, distrust, doubt, and even dislike itself? Where do things go from there?
There is tension in this culture of ours, to be sure: between the forces of submission and surrender, or the impulse to turn away from confrontation with the brutal enemy we face, and the Remnant among us who stand ready to fight with indomitable spirit for the civilization that is near and dear to our hearts. The key question seems to be how that tension will play out. I no longer worry that the strong timbers of this structure will weaken. What seems less certain is how the burden of persistent rot and termite activity will affect the structure as a whole. Are we headed for a schism of some sort in the long run? What happens if the load-bearing timbers get up and walk away?
I remember with clarity, on this day: the brutality of the bastards who attacked us (I see no reason to mince words). The thousands murdered in the World Trade Center towers and aboard Flights 11 and 175 that were crashed deliberately into them with full loads of fuel. The noble heroism of the first responders and everyday citizens who sacrificed to rescue others from the burning inferno of the twin towers. Those who stepped up without being called on, and independently thwarted the plans of the Flight 93 hijackers. The hole in the ground near Shanksville, Pennsylvania where their struggle came to an end. The people who leapt to their deaths from the doomed WTC. The people murdered when Flight 77 was crashed into the Pentagon. The sight of still-smoldering wreckage being cleared from “Ground Zero” two weeks later. And moving forward from there, the slow discovery that all my preconceived expectations about the superficiality and transience of our cultural weaknesses were mistaken. That the intentional undermining of our foundations over decades had put us in much worse shape than I’d ever realized, and that we have much work to do to find our strength again.
I cannot account for things yet unknown to me, for the particulars of where we’re headed and how all of this will be resolved. But I am certain of the strength and resilience in my own heart, determined that we shall stand and find our way again, and grateful for those kindred spirits who I know journey through the storm with me, seeking our way home with indomitable perseverance.
My Previous Years’ 9/11 Posts
2017: 9/11, Sixteen Years On
2016: 9/11, Fifteen Years On
2014: 9/11, Thirteen Years On
2013: 9/11, Twelve Years On
2012: 9/11, Eleven Years On
2010: 9/11: Two Songs
2007: 9/11, Six Years On
2005: I Remember
2004: Remembering and Rebuilding (republished here September 12th, 2014)