So no surprise here: the weekend opinion pages are all about 9/11. The most elegiac take on the terror attacks and what came after is in the Burlington Free Press, an editorial that reads like poetry.
Here’s the final bit, but I encourage you to read it through.
A flag raising among the rubble.
A send off for our troops.
A homecoming, but not for all.
We got Osama bin Laden.
We still mourn our dead.
We are still at war.
The Glens Falls Post-Star is equally poignant, with a letter about 9/11 addressed to our children:
In the decade since, we learned many things we didn’t know before. We learned about terrorist networks and governments intent on killing innocent victims, just to make a point about how we live. We learned that even when we all come together for one purpose, we don’t always agree on the methods or the goals.
As individuals and as a nation, we tested the limits of our own integrity, our own compassion, our own tolerance, our own sense of justice.
At times, we were shocked to discover that we did not always act as we would have liked. And we learned that as far as we’ve come, we still have far to go.
The Plattsburgh Press-Republican argues that the day of commemoration should be a day of unity.
Today, we should all put our flags out again and put politics aside. Forget Republicans, Democrats, Conservatives, liberals, the tea party, debt ceilings, budgets — everything that upsets us about government.
We could instead spend some time thinking about what is still great about this country.
Mostly, we can remember that America is “we, the people,” and that we are still here and still strong.
The Watertown Daily Times, meanwhile, suggests that the nation use this opportunity to pivot and begin thinking about what comes next within our own borders.
While there have been no successful attacks 10 years later the time has come for America to look forward to creating a way of life that is not complacent at home or abroad, but is mindful that continued restriction of the free movement of people, of the opportunity to invest in the future, and inability of the political parties to have a civil debate from the middle of the political spectrum will leave this great country vulnerable to yet another attack from those outside of the mainstream of political thought.
The lesson of this decade teaches us that extremism should be pronounced dead.
The Adirondack Daily Enterprise suggests that the next generation of kids, who’ve grown up in the shadow of 9/11, will be tough and resilient enough to take on those challenges.
This new generation is also coming of age at a time when, with 9 percent unemployment nationwide, they can’t expect to get jobs easily or make as much money as their predecessors.
But they’ve been preparing for the worst for 10 years, and they may be mentally tougher than any generation since the one that grew up during the Great Depression and World War II. Tom Brokaw famously called that “The Greatest Generation.”
This one could give them a run at that title. Talking with these kids gives us hope.
So there it is. I found this weekend’s opinion pages particularly powerful, even beautiful.
I hope all of you find time to pause a bit and reflect through these years. It’s been a tough, hard, bitter chapter in American life, but in sum I find myself sharing the pride and optimism found in these editorials.
As always, your thoughts, memories, opinions appreciated.