Senior Stories

September 11th, 2001: Patriot Day

September 11th Patriot Day

Can any military response make the slightest difference in the underlying cause? Is there not a deep wound at the heart of humanity?

If there is a deep wound, doesn’t it affect everyone?

When generations of suffering respond with bombs, suicidal attacks, and biological warfare, who first developed these weapons? Who sells them? Who gave birth to the satanic technologies now being turned against us?

If all of us are wounded, will revenge work? Will punishment in any form toward anyone to solve the wound or aggravate it? Will an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and limb for a limb, leave us all blind, toothless and crippled?

Tribal warfare has been going on for two thousand years and has now been magnified globally. Can tribal warfare be brought to an end? Is patriotism and nationalism even relevant anymore, or is this another form of tribalism?

What are you and I as persons going to do about what is happening? Can we afford to let the deeper wound fester any longer?

Everyone is calling this an attack on America, but is it not a rift in our collective soul? Isn’t this an attack on civilization from without that is also from within?

When we have secured our safety once more and cared for the wounded, after the period of shock and mourning is over, it will be time for soul searching. I only hope that these questions are confronted with the deepest spiritual intent. None of us will feel safe again behind the shield of military might and stockpiled arsenals. There can be no safety until the root cause is faced. In this moment of shock I don’t think anyone of us has the answers. It is imperative that we pray and offer solace and help to each other. But if you and I are having a single thought of violence or hatred against anyone in the world at this moment, we are contributing to the wounding of the world.

Love, Deepak


I am the flag of the United States of America. My name is Old Glory. I fly atop the world’s tallest buildings. I stand watch in America’s halls of justice. I fly majestically over institutions of learning. I stand guard with power in the world. Look up and see me.

I stand for peace, honor, truth, and justice. I stand for freedom. I am confident. I am arrogant. I am proud.

When I am flown with my fellow banners, my head is a little higher, my colors a little truer.

I bow to no one! I am recognized all over the world. I am worshipped – I am saluted. I am loved – I am revered. I am respected-and I am feared.

I have fought in every battle of every war for more than 200 years. I was flown at Valley Forge, Gettysburg, Shiloh, and Appomattox. I was there at San Juan Hill, the trenches of France, in the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome, and the beaches of Normandy, Guam, Okinawa. The people of Korea, Vietnam, and Kuwait know me as a banner of freedom. I was there. I led my troops, I was dirty, worn, and tired, but my soldiers cheered me And I was proud. I have been burned, torn, and trampled on the streets of countries I have helped set free. It does not hurt, for I am invincible.

I have slipped the bonds of Earth and stood watch over the uncharted frontiers of space from my vantage point on the moon. I have borne silent witness to all of America’s finest hours. But my finest hours are yet to come.


When I am torn into strips and used as bandages for my wounded comrades on the battlefield, When I am flown at half-mast to honor my countryman, when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving parent at the grave of their fallen son or daughter, or in the arms of a child or spouse who will have to go on without one who gave their life in a national disaster to save the life of another, as so many did at the Pentagon or the World Trade Center Towers on September 11th, 2001.



We seniors, who have lived through The Depression, W.W.II, and a host of troubles and wars since then, suffer for the first time a failure of faith in the security of America. No wonder we’re angry, gloomy, and confused.



by Gar Sleep from his collection of columns

Here in Senior Square, as summer turns out the lights, we sometimes feel we’re turning back to square one.

It’s World War II all over again.

Another Pearl Harbor, this time, towering in casualties.

A more youthful FDR takin’ to talkin’ on the TV, radio’s fireside chats no longer passing muster.

Two American Presidents strikingly alike in so many different ways.

FDR’s favorite song: “Home, Home on the Range.”

GWB’s favorite home: home, home on the range.

One might even say, welcome back to the Yankee Doodle Dandy World that reared us good. (Thank you, George M. Cohan, we hardly knew ye.)

We’ve just beamed down to Star-Spangled 3, the sequel, courtesy of Dan Rather and the CBS Evening News.

Listen! The many shapes and shades of a slim-downed Kate Smith, rendering “God Bless America,” our new national anthem, in English and a second language somehow understood globally. A kind of Tower of Babel rewind.

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