Nearly 20 years ago, a major terrorist attack happened in our own backyard, resulting in profound loss of life, devastating economic consequences and that which have cost us trillions of dollars and thousands of lives — wars that created the very acute and serious challenges we’re bearing witness to in Afghanistan today.
But we also witnessed the best of who we are as a species and as a country. Those of us old enough to remember, remember the beautiful, neighborly camaraderie that persevered in the days following the attack. Never have I felt so connected to and in the care of complete strangers, neighbors. The desire to serve, to rebuild, to thrive was underpinned by an unshakable foundation of hope and belief in what we as a nation were capable of. Many of us also remember how quickly that glimpse into what humanity could be like evaporated as we returned to our consumption economy with our heads down and factions forming.