I was at this very desk, at the computer, when my daughter’s friend Matt called. “Mr. Kubat,” he said simply, “turn on the TV. A plane just hit the World Trade Center.” I turned on the TV, and watched. For a second it felt like a bad movie, but then I saw a flash of movement that turned out to be the second plane, and it was reality. Detached reality, disembodied reality as only TV can make it, but reality nonetheless.
Today, in watching the 9-11 memorial ceremonies, the reading of the names, the moments of silence, people taking rubbings of the engraved names, the soft yet insistent music in the background, I am struck by the power and solemnity of the occasion. President George W. Bush, reading the famous Lincoln letter to the mother who had lost five sons in the Civil War, struck the right tone. He didn’t talk about himself, he simply introduced and read the letter. All my differences with him aside, I thought it was wonderful to hear his voice.
This is real America’s time.
I know that Obama is planning to visit all 9-11 sites, but I hope that he will keep his mouth respectfully shut. I’m simply not ready for more sophomoric lecturing, nor do I wish to hear how 9-11 must be perverted into a national “day of service.”
Not today, please.