The Clarity of Crisis: Remembering September 11th

Sep 11, 2011 by

“Veritas odit moras” Seneca

Following September 11th American’s eagerly put aside partisan politics. What was right to do was clear. George Bush was praised by both parties for his decisive leadership in the days immediately following the attack. He encouraged American’s not to give in to despair at Ground Zero and from the Oval Office vowed that America would seek justice. But the truth is that any right thinking person of either party would have acting similarly, and in fact could not have acted otherwise.

The challenge of disaster brings clarity to decision making. The test of right action must be reason: the pursuit of the greater good. The heroes of flight 93 acted without hesitation and paid the greatest cost: They did not falter; they took action, for what they knew to be the greater good. In times of crisis we clearly see the difference between how we wish we could act, the outcomes that we might hope for and how reason suddenly compels us to act or face even greater catastrophe.

Today America’s economic and political challenges are no less critical. There is a lack of confidence in American leadership, the American economy, and the ability of the government to honor its multi generational promises. But still the solutions are simple: Propositions are still reasonable or unreasonable. We can not afford to wait for partisanship and faction to postpone what is right to do until we are on the brink of civil discord.

Ten years after September 11th let us honor our heroes by promoting an enlightened self interest capable of seeing past immediate self interest, our personal ambition and the pettiness of faction. Let us make the difficult decisions that must be made, to be the heroes of a grateful future.

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3 Comments

  1. James Addington

    It sounds really good. It really pulled me in. Plus all the politician stuff on it is so true also.

  2. B. Kimura

    This is all very well written and compelling. I do agree that circumstance scripted much of how we reacted. However I am convinced that flight 93 was shot down by American fighters as per early reports that were quickly withdrawn.

  3. Indeed we should be grateful for the sacrifices of others and in their honor strive for justice and reason regardless of how difficult the journey

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