I think we are all familiar, as Americans, with the phrase "E pluribus unum," meaning "out of many, one." In this election season, I am sorry to witness the extent to which we are not, in fact, one...a reality which both saddens and concerns me.
Why has it become nigh on impossible for pols, pundits, and people in general to politically or even culturally disagree with a fellow citizen without denigrating his or her character? What happened to the respect we owe each other as free men and free women who share a love for this nation? (In fact, what happened to the respect we owe each other, period?) Must we demonize one another to make our points? Can we not all agree that every one of us has the inalienable right to put forth his or her own opinions without being branded evil or declared a lunatic? Do we really have to make sweeping generalizations about entire groups of people based upon the foibles of a handful? Are we doomed to stew in our own, stagnating juices for the simple reason that we refuse to reach out and create a blend that would be (reasonably) palatable to all?
We are the proverbial great American melting pot, and as such, our citizens differ in more ways than we can count. Because of these differences, not one of us is going to get everything he or she wants. But we can all get some of what we want, provided we are willing to respect one another enough to discuss, negotiate, and legislate honorably. Perhaps we can even manage to campaign honorably, which would be a welcome relief to most of us right about now. It's time to address issues, issues, and only issues! Why? Because vitriolic diatribes, self-serving slanders, and outright character assassinations obscure one all-important American truth: that variety is indeed the spice of life (AND our American melting pot).
I believe a lot of negotiating was done in regard to the new World Trade Center (now under construction), and I'm certain many diametrically opposed views of what should stand in that sacred spot were advanced. In the end, a decision was made which encompassed as many points of view as possible. The result, I think you will agree, is quite remarkable...and I have to believe that even those who supported other plans must be pleased with the spirit, at least, of this effort. I hope you will enjoy these photographs chronicling its construction to date. I also hope, as you scroll through them, that you will reflect with me upon these words: "United we stand; divided we fall," remembering that unity begins with mutual respect––and a sincere belief that every point of view matters.
|Artist's rendering of the new World Trade Center*|
This is what the new World Trade Center will look like when completed.
Pretty awe-inspiring, right?
I guess something about it just speaks to my heart.
And it speaks to my sense of patriotism, too.
There's something so "never, never, never give up" about this building.
It says a lot about us as a nation.
And it means a lot to us as a nation, too.
It means we are not afraid to stand tall for what we believe,
regardless of the obvious risk involved.
It means we know how to keep our eyes and hearts on the big picture,
even when the fruits of terror and adversity lie at our feet.
It means we still know how to fight in ways that are not destructive,
to rise above the troubles others may see fit to inflict upon us
and prove who we really are, first and last. Americans.
United We Stand. Divided, We Fall.
Let's move forward.
Let's move forward.