I have to admit that I have avoided Nine Eleven commemoration like the plague. The events of that day, horrible beyond imagining, have been so distorted for political purposes in the aftermath that it is difficult to see the human tragedy behind the propoganda. What is more, we can no longer see the tragedy of Nine Eleven in isolation, without acknowledging the far more destructive tragedy that subsequently unfolded in Afghanistan and Iraq. These events are all of a piece, part of a spiral of violence that has engulfed the world, deeply challenging us to locate our security in a faith that eschews mimetic violence, retaliation, and scapegoating.
My friend Elizabeth Kaeton, who serves a parish in Chatham, New Jersey, comes as close as anyone to peeling back the onion of post-9-11 political posturing to expose the rawness of the actual experience. I commend her reflection on Nine Eleven with thanksgiving.