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.