What a Difference A Year Makes

An anniversary can be sweet or solemn, but either way, it is only the echo, not the cry. From this distance, we can hear whatever we are listening for. We can argue that Sept. 11 changed everything — or nothing


The country is more united, and less; more fearful and more secure, more serious and more devoted to American Idol. It is like looking at your child's baby pictures. You know exactly who it is: every feature is both different and the same, despite new expressions, and furrows and knowledge.

Holding two contradictory ideas in your head was supposed to be a sign of first-rate intelligence. Now it just feels like a vital sign. To say we have changed feels like rewarding the enemy, but to deny it risks losing the knowledge for which we paid a terrible price--knowledge about who...

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