Sep 11, 2007


We observed 9/11 this morning with a moment of silence.

My 9th-grade students, who fidgeted as the silence dragged into eternity, would have been eight years old that day.

By the amount of their squirming, I got the feeling that most of them suffered from the same guilty ambivalence I described last year, only worse: they were children then. Their distance from the day is almost unimaginably vast.

My silence was splintered with anger. Anger at the slow and pitiful search for justice. Anger at a bearded lunatic who, inconceivably, still stalks the earth. Anger at distracted politicians and fickle citizens. Anger at my own inconsequential anger.

I will confess that I did not ask them how they felt. I was afraid to know.

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