Even with our country and counties polarized to extents few of have witnessed in recent times, an opportunity arises this weekend to bypass differences, even if only for a single day.

Saturday will mark 20 years since terrorists attacked our nation, two decades since a new generation of Americans awoke to the realization that such violence could, and would, happen on U.S. soil.

But far from splintering and dividing our nation, as terrorists surely hoped would happen, Americans at that time galvanized their faith, their hope, their actions in displays of unification from sea to shining sea. Indeed, many of those stories are presented as a retrospective of those actions in the pages of today’s newspaper.

A generation later, that unification is resurrected on the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, but in rare circumstances at other times — and typically only during moments of extreme adversary. Must it be that it takes a 9/11, horrific natural disasters, mass violence or scandals of national proportions to remind us of America’s earliest roots?

Even today, we can have faith and hope — and act for bette

Recommended for you

(4) comments


Remind us of America's earliest roots? I am assuming you are talking about the United States of America--not the American continent.

Are you referring to the exploitative European colonial project that succeeded in an eventual bourgeois revolution to protect the capitalist interests of a wealthy land-vested minority and enriched by the sale of land seized from indigenous peoples--who were victims of actual and cultural genocide and permanent displacement--and the transatlantic slave trade that assisted in creating a racial caste system that still persists to this day?

I think about it often.


Wow Branch, that is a sad post. Do you really think that dwelling on a past that you can't change lets you make a positive change for today? You need therapy for your anger.

Or, you could move to a country where the indigenous people are still in control- Afghanistan. My guess is that you will be even unhappier there, but give it a try. Peace.


I think revisionist history that totally rewrites the past as a golden age of unity that can only be revisited by manufactured consent to illegally wage war against other countries is sad.

And yes, I do believe that by trying to understand history--not whitewashing it--we can learn from it to create a better future. Speaking of history, both the Soviets and the US had a solid hand in destabilizing Afghanistan and radicalizing its militants. We even gave them textbooks that taught children to count using images of weapons and cultivated an overzealous version of radical Islam in a poorly calculated geopolitical move.

This is from an excerpt from a real primer paid for and disseminated by the US, which became the core curriculum in Afghanistan for decades: "Letter M (capital M and small m): (Mujahid): My brother is a Mujahid. Afghan Muslims are Mujahideen. I do Jihad together with them. Doing Jihad against infidels is our duty."





You do realize that a major part of therapy is looking back one's past actions so that one may contextualize and learn from them, so as to learn how not to repeat the same mistakes, right? Ignoring history and writing it off as "past that you can't change" is a recipe for both individual and societal disaster.

I won't even go near your comments on Afghanistan, it's evident that you've not a clue what you're talking about, see: Branch's reply.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.