I've felt sorrow and grief for those who died or lost loved ones, but until today, it was dulled by shock. I think this morning, the shock finally abated enough to let honest emotion through. It hit me during my morning commute, and I was brought to the verge of tears by hearing the Star Spangled Banner playing during the changing of the guard in London. That seemed to sum it all up right there; the grief we all feel, the national pride so long taken for granted that we have running through our veins, and the sympathies of a world able to look beyond past disagreements.
I am not going to dwell on any of the bad imagery of the week, we've all seen more than enough of that, but I'd like to note a few of the things that have brought me good feelings since Tuesday.
First and foremost, my friends in Canada and Europe. The words of support and concern from you do more to help than you can know.
Secondly, flags. All those who've brought the stars and stripes out of their closets and basements, and unfurled them for all to see. There are a lot of them, and it makes me proud to be an American when I pass house after house displaying old glory.
Thirdly, support. This has brought our nation together like I've never seen before. Even during the Gulf War, I don't recall so many people all united in purpose. From 5-hour waits to donate blood, to online charity collections, to people just giving a shoulder to lean upon. Everyone wants to help. I'll be eligible to donate again in a couple weeks, and you can bet that they'll still be needing it, and you can bet I'll be there in line.
One of the best writings I've seen about the events of the week came surprisingly from Dave Barry, a humor columnist. Perhaps not surprising, really; a humor writer has to deal with the nuances of humanity on a daily basis, and is probably better suited to write about it than a war commentator or business analyst. Anyways, here it is, in closing: