September 11 Digital Archive






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TomPaine Story: Story

Mostly I remember the fear. My son was in college in NYC; my sister lives in DC. Fear felt that morning seemed similar to what Id read about WWII bombings.

The world was in chaos. That same pallor of anxiety seemed to give way to grief for most. People slowly picked up the pieces of their lives, but now with an urgency that Americans needed to know more, to understand more, and even to accept more of this world from which they had been so insulated. Many prayed for wisdom, an odd virtue in this day and age, which was needed to get out of this mess. Wisdom
and patience. Foreign words for Americans used to instant gratification, but words, nonetheless, which calmed.

Out of the ashes of 9/ll Americans realized we were vulnerable, yet resilient. Our strength, being a nation of immigrants, lay in our ability to be innovative, even in our politics. If the US could build a coalition around the world, our foreign policy could reflect that aspect of our character, mainly our melting pot hearts, where we do stand as one when threatened. Our optimistic nature could surely help promote democracy; our strong systems would survive intact.

It appeared we could do it without being the bully, the Superpower policemen. Bushs unilateral foreign policy became obsolete, overnight. It looked we actually were able to build a better world using wisdom and patience, not simply reactions. Lately between the insane jargon of attacking Iraq, and an out of control Justice
Dept. Im not sure where were headed. The democracy known to us will only be
strengthened through out own participation in it. Each individuals actions will help

steady the course of our future foreign policy, and maintenance of our democratic

institutions. Hopefully, Wisdom and Patience will be our legacy to the future.


“tp32.xml,” September 11 Digital Archive, accessed March 26, 2023,