My blog is late this week. I started writing several times on a variety of topics and stopped each time because I kept coming back to events in Boston. It just seems impossible to write about anything else right now.
Our offices in New Jersey are just a few miles west of Manhattan, and from our 15th floor location we have a clear view of the new World Trade Center tower now nearing completion. It is a daily reminder of 9/11. The feelings of that awful day were reawakened on Monday with the Boston Marathon bombing.
During the media coverage from Boston, a radio reporter made this comment: “In some societies, terrorism breeds more terrorism from the other side; in our society, terrorism breeds heroes.” Both 9/11 and the Marathon bombings have proven the validity of her statement.
We go through our everyday lives dealing with problems, putting out figurative fires, some big, some small. Sometimes we even face the impact of natural disasters such as floods or hurricanes, or sudden workplace injuries. Seldom, thankfully, are we called upon to deal with a catastrophic event such as we have seen in New York and Boston. We can only hope we would react as those incredibly selfless individuals who ran to help rather than running away to safety.
We owe them all a debt of gratitude, not just for their bravery and the lives they saved through their actions, but for showing us all that, when the unthinkable happens, ordinary people can perform in extraordinary ways. And for making us believe that perhaps we, too, could display the same courage if called upon.
The new tower in lower Manhattan is more than a reminder of the pain of 9/11. It is also a tangible affirmation of our resolve to rebuild and our unshakable determination to remain a free and open society. Boston, too, now joins the honor roll of American cities that have overcome acts of terror with courage and resilience, proving (fittingly, on Patriot’s Day) that this is the “home of the brave,” where we will never be deterred from protecting and preserving the values we cherish in our “land of the free.”