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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

From Ground Zero to 1776 Feet

The glass exterior gives the Freedom Tower a look of unity, such as that which occurred on September 11, 2001. (Image Source: USA Today)

Aspiring to hope again, against the pull of the annualized calls to remember, yet again, a tragedy whose villain had met his fitting end, America could dare to inhale a fresh sense of pride instead of the stale bad air of vulnerability and death that stubbornly would not die under the cover of mourning. New Yorkers with an even longer memory could feel a sense of payback on behalf of their proud city, which had lost the World's Fair to Chicago in 1893. New York's press had dubbed the metropolis of the Midwest "the windy city" for all the bragging there for having been selected over Wall Street's locale. In 2013, New York's bewindowed Temple of Independence beat out the Sears, or "Willis," Tower in Chitown (pronounced shy-town, not shit-own, or, even worse, own-shit) as the tallest building in the Western hemisphere on account of a spire. 

Lest it be said that the sky is the limit for the perpetual Union of shimmering unity, the laws of nature do not allow a Rome or a Washington to rise forever. as if social organization were somehow not mortal. As between us and God, our cultural artifices are unfortunately on our side of the ledger. They are also in continuity with Nature, into whose embrace we mere mortals cannot evade. So what does Nature have in store for the American experiment of a general republic within whose borders semi-sovereign republics reside as though tamed members? Will the U.S. collapse from its own weight, or become increasingly susceptible to enemies foreign and even domestic? 

Our lot is not to know what lies beyond the horizon reflected in the unscratched glass of freedom's tower. We can, however, marvel at the sheer tenacity of a people whose hope, whose light, will not go quietly under the ashes at Pearl Harbor and Ground Zero. For from the extraordinary hardships of brave colonists in the wilderness, on the periphery of the known world, came bubbling to the surface the idea of self-governance, whose practicability and unity require the self-discipline of virtue and civic knowledge,  in 1776.