Sometimes, even someone who loves to opine as much as I do can't find the right words. I watched on TV as the Twin Towers fell on a gloriously sunny day five years ago. I fretted about my husband's cousin, who works at the Pentagon, and I got goosebumps along with the rest of the world when I realized what had happened in the sky above a desolate field in rural Pennsylvania. There simply aren't words to express the grief, the anger, the shock of that terrible day. And I was lucky enough not to lose a close one or to experience first-hand any of the devastation.
I read in the paper last week that President Bush is asking Congress to pass legislation which would provide that terror suspects can be tried based on secret evidence -- evidence that the defendant and his counsel would be prohibited from seeing. I was going to write an indignant post, lamenting that we could even think of behaving in such a manner, citing the Constitution and the principles of justice and due process entrenched in our government structure. I was going to point to all the repressive regimes -- ironically, like Sadam Hussein's -- that tried people for their lives in secret courts with secret evidence. I vacillated, wondering if it would be tacky to do so on the eve of the anniversary of 9/11.
As I thought about it, I realized, however, that in our heartache and confusion and bitterness, in our quest to find some kind of justice, to seek some kind of resolution (however illusory), we dishonor the memory of those who died when we abandon our core values. Clinging to our ideals, our notions of justice and fair play, treating the scum of the world better than they treat us, and yes, observing the spirit and letter of our Constitution and Bill of Rights -- these are right and just ways to honor the memories of those innocent souls who were lost on that day.
Remember. Mourn. And fight to make sure those 3,000 lives were not sacrificed in vain.