Two front teeth


Tom Wolfe in one of his quirky observations mentioned that “New York got knocked out of its two front teeth” (in reference to 9/11).

It was a dark day for all.

Even today, as we remember it.

It jolted us our of our slumber.

Neighbor comforted neighbor. Don Dillon mentioned “the jumpers” in his novel.

I, on the other hand, will never forget Peter Jennings whose death was tied to that event.

We can eulogize, theologize and philosophize to death what actually happened.

But we cannot deny there were all elements of humanity there: hatred and heroism, harmfulness and helpfulness.

From today’s vantage point, we know that revenge exacted and relations strained (mistrust and mishap in the ME).

9/11 was the pinnacle of events. A confluence of technology and terrorism, miscalculation and precision (except for the United 93 flight whose passengers gave their lives to contain the damage).

Yes, two front teeth got knocked out.

But the body still stands.

A bit wobbling, but still on its own feet.

The phoenix shall rise.

And we are all the stronger albeit scarred.

Teeth could be replanted.

But our psyche has yet to heal.

Hence smiling reluctantly, thinking there still were some missing teeth somewhere.

It matures us quickly. All the emotions spent (anger, denial etc..). All that is left is a sense of reluctance, even to start another war. Warring doesn’t bring strategic benefits, even when tactically, it delivers. It’s time to think like a father, a mother, and not tactician or technician i.e. plane to fly on family vacation, and not as weapon, building to shelter from the storm and not tombstone for world memorial. New York, say “cheese”.

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