Another anniversary

911Some of you have already read the text of the speech I gave in a German church on the  10th anniversary of 9/11 . (Some of you even remember hearing it!)

I was preceded that day by a history teacher from the local high school, who had been asked to comment on the September 11th attacks in historical context. What I remember most about his talk was his assertion that, in the long run, the Fukushima nuclear disaster of March 2011 would eclipse 9/11 as an event of greater consequence.

I was skeptical of his thesis then, and I’m even more skeptical now. Millions of Afghans and Iraqis have been displaced. Civilians in both countries are being killed daily in terrorist attacks. Here in the United States, we’ve been quick to accept as the “new normal” security measures that should give us pause.

Meanwhile, StoryCorps has expanded its commitment to preserving the stories of 9/11. It’s a great resource for sharing with our teenagers – the babies we held extra close 14 years ago.




September 11th

HGerlöserkircheAmong our neighbors in Bad Homburg was the minister of the protestant Church of the Redeemer (Erlöserkirche). One day, he asked for our help with a special event at the church. He was planning a memorial service to mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. He already had a speaker lined up to talk about the meaning of the attacks in the greater historical context, and he wondered if I would be willing to represent the point of view of the victims.