Wednesday, August 29, 2012

One or We're Done: E Pluribus Unum

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.

*All renderings are © Port Authority and the Durst Organization

for more O posts, click below


w said...

great post. we can respect each other as people - and still not agree.

i hadn't seen the renderings of the tower. magnificent!

Lola said...

Hi again Sue,

Such a thoughtful post with great images.

Totally agree with w's sentiments above.

Karen S. said...

What a collection of lovely photos. Your post (although I really force myself to not speak politics or religion much here) but I also have been wondering about us being "one" as well. I begin to think if more us worked at becoming one, but there are those of us trying and tried and trying more ....and sadly it seems instead of even inching forward a tiny bit, we drift further away.

Cheryl said...

I can't comment without being cynical. Very very tired of it all these days.

Thanks for sharing the renderings. I hadn't seen them yet.

Pondside said...

Watching from up here it is all quite worrying. I don't know what the solution is - the party/election 'machine' seems to be all-powerful.

Our last election had a distinctively un-characteristic meanness about it and many were shocked. I think it's the way things will be done until ordinary voters make themselves heard.

Sue said...

Sometimes I think Americans should just vote everyone out of office on both sides of the aisle to show them we mean business!


ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Wow! Powerful Post! I am hoping for the best ~ Our country is special and will come through ~ Awesome photography ~ (A Creative Harbor)

Brian Miller said...

beautiful pictures...and it is a beautiful much as we are founded on the unity we are also founded on individuality....thus you will not find agreement...i think that it would take a special leader to get us back to such unity...and i def dont see that in this election...

Annmarie Pipa said...

I am so interested in this election, but I stopped listening to any news...too upsetting to me...I do not think those people are as mean as they sound...they couldn't be, right?!

anitamombanita said...

wonderful post, Sue. I'm so frustrated with the politicos! All of them. I'm with you. Let's clean house and start fresh! Ah, if only we could!!

Debra said...

What a wonderful post and photos!

Sage said...

Great points and photos. (Clicked over from Segullah). I'm watching both conventions. I hope for the best!

storybeader said...

Amazing how that "hole" in the ground looks. Fitting! And I didn't know they were that far along already. The ribbon cutting will be some event! Thanks for the photos. {:-D

Paige said...

Well said. I've been there twice to see the progress, but the last time was last year. Amazing!

Amy Harrison said...

Really nice post:D And awesome photographs :)
Amy x

Anonymous said...

Truly a wonderful post. It would be so nice to have each and every one of us treat all others with the respect they deserve.

EG CameraGirl said...

I wish everyone everywhere would read and think hard about this thoughtful post. I'm afraid politics brings out the worst in humans...and that's as true in Canada as it is in the U.S.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

What an inspirational post and the choice of the renderings of the new trade center was perfect!

Grandma Honey said...

Beautiful building but I will pass on ever wanting to go inside.

anitamombanita said... your comment about the image with the orange leaves and turquoise's actually the Rio Baker rushing by in the's one of the highest volume rivers in the world and has some of the most turquoise water I've ever seen! :)

Eva Gallant said...

Great thoughts and great photos!

ellen b. said...

Very thoughtfully presented!

Leovi said...

A splendid series of photos, just stunning, I love.

Mumsy said...

Well said, Sue! It's very easy for people to just jump on an attack wagon when we don't agree.

However, the photos of the new World Trade Center are gorgeous!

yaya said...

There is something so special and spiritual about ground zero. I think the new building is beautiful and I do hope we can all come together. Sometimes companies fire everyone and then you have to earn your spot back. I wish we could do that with government too..but unfortunately we need to try and make the best decisions we can on who we want to lead us. That means we need to vote. If you don't vote, you don't have the right to complain...

karen said...

Ground Zero is indeed hallowed ground. I'll never forget the almost sacred feel to the place when we were there visiting last year. I'll be anxious to see everything when its finished.
I understand what you mean about politics. I don't get why people have to be mean to make a point. I don't know a lot of people who have a different point of view from mine who I could sit down with and just ask questions and learn why they think what they do. I really would like to understand where they're coming from, but I don't get the sense that many of them want to understand where I'm coming from. Because there has to be a middle ground, right?

VBR said...

Outstanding post for letter O.
I worry for our children and their children. I worry about what the world is coming to. I know past generations said the same thing, but, I don't think that they would have ever imagined in their worst nightmares so of the things that our kids have contend with as they move into the future.

Wander said...

I had this very same conversation with a friend of mine yesterday...I had to remind him that it was ok to attack my political beliefs but that it was not ok to attack me. I do a lot of research and look at historical trends before I make a stand. I noticed the change in the way people felt it was ok to approach each other and I for one feel it has a direct link to how the news is related to the public. When the news became more editorial than traditional news people started following along. It is easy to win an argument (at least in your own mind) if you are able to insult the person you are arguing against because it puts them on a level below you...and that means their beliefs have no merit. The thing that bothers me the most is when people quote only one media outlet in all their is sad.


Andy David said...

Deep words from you Sue. Not sure if any man or organization can make this world a better place? Have you ever heard the final days? Great pictures my friend!

Sue said...

At least we can make our part of the world a better place by working together, Andy, don't you think so? And (even when we cannot control the outcome) unity, mutual respect, and caring will strengthen and comfort us for whatever lies ahead.


Anna M said...

Sue, I've been thinking a lot of these thoughts lately. You are such a wise person and I am glad I "know" you. mwah

Darlene said...

Amen. We do need to stand together. That is one of the main things that will help to hold our country together.

I was so happy to see the new World Trade Center. It will be beautiful to behold when it is completed. Thanks for posting these outstanding pictures.

I admit that I am getting to the point that I hate to listen to any of the politicals. I hate to hear all the same old promises that they spout! This country can be fixed, but it will take many years. Our leaders will have to figures out how to bring back manufacturing before anyone can promise jobs. Right now most of our manufacturing is done overseas because it is so much cheaper. I just hope someone can figure out how to do fix that.

Ames said...

I wasn't paying attention and didn't know the new building had gotten that far. Last I knew no one could decide on a design or height. I am surprised it is this far along!

Terra said...

oh sue you have such a way with words and in this case pictures too. as far as the politics go...ahem - I don't want to say "I give" but seriously - it has become such a joke it is hard to know when not to laugh

BECKY said...

Beautiful photos and beautifully said.

Sandy said...

I truly believe both parties want
what is good for this country but
they need to get on the same page
and stop fighting!
Good Post

Jenny said...

I think all the instant media really contributes to this division among people.

People don't take time to thing before they speak, blurt, tweet or e-mail.

It's all the harsh opinions, all the time.

And it is horribly sad and divisive.

Love the tower renderings. I hadn't seen those yet. They are quite outstanding.

And so was this post.


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