Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remember 9/11/01

Ten years ago to the day, I was greeting students for first period. It was a different feel, however, to any other day, as colleagues were walking quickly through the halls with very distressed faces. I asked if something had happened in school, and the quick response was that New York City was supposedly under attack. Rumors were spreading rapidly. I and a handful of students ran into our computer room and pulled up CNN, only to see both towers of the World Trade Center ablaze. Reports had other planes attacking Washington, DC. Within about 15 minutes from when we started watching, we saw the towers collapse.

Anyone who was alive and old enough to remember that day can tell a story like this, for they, too, know exactly where they were and what they were doing. I can only hope those who lost loved ones have found time as a healer of some of the pain, and hope the souls of those who were lost have found peace.

My dear friend, Zenpundit, has a wonderful post. In it, he lets us know his great hope and lesson from all this, which is something we have talked about numerous times together - that our generation stops the trend we have been in, which is reactive to events. We need to try to develop a longer-term strategy, and build to reach the goals of whatever that strategy is. I am not sure how this will ever happen in today's combative, completely partisan political environment. With 2-year election cycles, long-term thinking, proposals, and action are nearly non-existent. This is why, literally for decades, people have brought up the issues with Medicare and Social Security, and that it needs to be fixed to remain solvent for future generations, and yet NO ONE in either party has had the political spine and will to do what we already know must be done. Again, it is a known problem with some known solutions, been there for decades, and no action at all.

Will we be able to do better? Who will come out of the crowd to help lead a new era of strategic thinking in the near-, mid- and long-term perspectives, rather than simply near-term for political gain? When will the tipping point take place that will create the level of public outrage for this era to begin? Time will tell, and let's hope it does not take another 9/11 scale incident to bring us back to this same discussion.