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Today is the 18th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, September 11, 2001.
My wife and I were wakened early that morning by a frantic call from our daughter, who lived one time zone east. She sobbed, “Turn on your TV! You have to see this!”
Through the rest of the day, we watched, transfixed by the tragedy. Over and over, we watched the two planes bank, smash into the towers, with a gout of exploding fuel erupting through the far wall of the tower.
We watched as the buildings collapsed like a house of cards.
Of course, there were two other hijacked flights. One crashed into the Pentagon. And another, possibly intended for the White House or Congress, where the passengers refused to sit passively and let it happen. They overwhelmed the hijackers.
I wonder what would have happened if the passengers on the two flights piloted into the World Trade Center had shown similar initiative.
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: history, 9/11, World Trade Centre, hijacking, sacrifice
There have been more mass shootings in the U.S. so far this year than days in the year. CBS News predicts the U.S. will end 2019 having averaged at least one mass shooting every single day.
It makes reporting fairly easy. Reporters can simply fill in the blanks: “Today in (name of city) a gunman opened fire in (name of church, store, mosque, or synagogue) with a (make or model of gun) killing (number dead), and injuring (number hospitalized) before being shot and killed by police.”
In the wake of the latest mass shooting -- Which one? Does it matter? -- the TV program Fox and Friends called in a pastor to explain what was going wrong with the nation.
Former police officer Tony Perkins, a Southern Baptist minister who heads an organization called the Family Research Council, blamed the rash of mass murders on the teaching of science -- particularly evolution -- in American schools.
He said, “We've taught our kids that they come about by chance through primordial slime and then we're surprised that they treat their fellow Americans like dirt."
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: fundamentalism, Evolution, science, mass killings
Our hummingbirds have flown south.
We hung out three hummingbird feeders all summer. Hummingbirds are scrappy little critters, even more so than finches. They fiercely defend their own territory, which includes what they think of as their own private Walmart of sweet nectar.
Even so, we’ve sometimes had three or four birds zipping around at a time, grabbing a sip here, a sip there.
The last hummingbird dropped in for a drink about two weeks ago. I think she was a female calliope hummingbird, although she didn’t stay still long enough for an unskilled bird watcher like me to check her anatomical details.
She fluttered up, slurped, and was gone.
And didn’t come back for a second martini.
That last little hummingbird prompted me to read up about bird migration.
Tags: autumn, hummingbirds, migration