Following the retreat, three of us talked about a book we had read in anticipation of the 10th anniversary of 9-11; written by Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Cantebury: Writing in the Dust. He was in Manhattan that morning, at Holy Trinity Church. Two years later, he wrote this book. It is no longer in print, but we found excellent used copies. At less than 80 pages in length, it is profound. Although very articulate, he makes no attempt to simplify the issues, if anything he communicates how complex our reactions and the ramifications are... much food for thought as we look back to that fateful day and then forward to put the last ten years in perspective.
Although horrific, the stories of how people acted with such profound selflessness and generousity lift my soul. I am reminded of Lincoln's first inaugral address... modifying it slightly:
The mystic chords of memory, stre[t]ching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus..., when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
If you lost a friend or loved one in that devastating series of events, or have family or friends who have paid a price in our country's military response, my prayers are with you.