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December 04, 2016
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The ‘Freedom’ Towers

“They hate our freedom” we were told to make us think we were free. Are our soldiers free when the only decent job available to them involves fighting an enemy thousands of miles from home? Are they free when they are better-trained in waging war than in any peaceful industry? It’s true we at home are free to be anesthetized to our fear. And I’d rather be an anesthetized American than a traumatized Iraqi. But this freedom our children enjoy is different from the freedom we Americans believed in. It is a freedom that exists only in contrast to the servitude of the rest of the world. We have come no closer to the “free world” envisioned in my childhood by President Kennedy. The “freedom tower” that rises in the frame of my Lower Manhattan living-room window will never obscure the memory of the crumbling Trade Center and the innocent lives destroyed there and elsewhere on that bright fall day.

Now, 10 years later, if I am asked to reflect on that disastrous morning of clarity, I don’t know what to say except that I am still in mourning for the lives lost that day and for the innocence I once clung to. The innocence that dared to think “Now things will have to change.”