Sunday, September 17, 2006

My September 11 Post

I originally sent this to several friends, and got so many positive comments that I'll include it here, with the addition of some explanatory links. Enjoy, and thanks to those who already did.


Well, I know that a lot of you want to hear more about 9/11 as much as I want to hear more about the JonBenet case. I can tell you that I worked tonight, which is what I was doing 5 years ago today. This time 5 years ago we were seeing people responding to rumors of $3.00 a gallon gasoline and scrambling to fill up before the prices changed. OK then.......

Things aren't as different for some people as perhaps they should be, but for me the 9/11 experience has been a decidedly mixed bag. Professionally, many things that I have believed in and worked for most of my career in public safety have come much closer to large-scale acceptance. Things like unified Incident Command and interoperable communications are big deals, and they're happening now. This is a good thing.

The price we've had to pay as a society for the loss of personal freedom, increased suspicion, lack of trust in one's fellow man and the nagging effect of fearmongering, hype, and conspicuous consumerism on our collective national psyche has at times been difficult for me to stomach. One must have a finely tuned B.S. filter nowadays, firmly placed inside the protective cocoon of faith, humility, and dedication to one another, regardless of our ideological differences.

The last five years have also brought along personal difficulty and loss, and a sense of continuing joy as we watch our little boy grow up a thoughtful, energetic, and articulate young man, who three years from now will have to register for a draft that I hope will never come. I hope that my friends and loved ones will thrive and endure, and that my family will remain intact in the face of these uncertainties, especially as Jan's fight with cancer continues. I hope....

I will pray for the wisdom to help install earthly leadership that truly demonstrate the values of a Christian heart. Take that as your own faith guides you to, but for me that means living by the example of Jesus Christ, and not by sound bytes on Fox News. The complexities of our world require us to sweat the details, to take an interest, and to read and listen past the limits of most of what our mass media puts before us, which I like to classify as "Weapons of Mass Distraction". Oh, and by the way, Go Steelers...

One example stood out for me among the cacophony of talking heads, and that was Keith Olbermann last night. I've attached his commentary, which ran nearly a full, uninterrupted 9 minutes and was an example of what we are missing in discourse in this country. You can also read the commentary and watch the video from his show on MSNBC at:

Thanks for paying attention, and may God bless all of you in the truly uncertain times ahead.


1 comment:

Yadah said...

John . . . Great to see someone from my hometown and my church! I am in the same women's group that your wife attends so I know you from afar as well. It's great to read more about you and your passions in life. I'll look foward to reading your thoughts in the days ahead. Thanks to Dick Maynard too for the link!