911: The Names

I wrote this a year ago to honor those who lost their lives in both 911 tragedies.

All night I thought about the families who lost so much on September 11, 2001, the day of the most devastating domestic terrorist attack in American history.  Over 3,000 Americans lost their lives.

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All week I have been debating whether or not my son, Christopher, who was born in 2001, should watch the documentaries reliving those tragic events.  We watch, but it is still hard to comprehend.  It is still hard to believe.  Christopher says he does not remember a time when we did not think about terrorists.  It is the new normal.  We know when something feels like terrorism.  We do not believe there is such a thing as “spontaneous attacks” anymore.  Those are just words that are made up.

All morning I thought about how I could come up with the right words to honor these victims, some of whom leapt to their deaths to avoid the flames that were overtaking the towers.  I also wanted to pay tribute to the four Americans who lost their lives in Benghazi one year ago today.  Their names were Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glenn A. Doherty, and Tyrone S. Woods.  I thought about how there really are no words that are good enough in and of themselves to bring closure to the families and friends of the fallen who have lost so much.  Only words accompanied by concrete action can really be meaningful now.

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“Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word”: Lance Armstrong and the Art of Apology

Lance+ArmstrongLance Armstrong had something to say this weekend:  he is really, really sorry.

But as he was confessing to Oprah Winfrey, the secular priestess of wayward celebrities, I couldn’t help but wonder for what exactly he was apologizing.  It wasn’t the doping itself:  he admitted to Ms. Winfrey that at the time he didn’t ever feel that he was doing anything wrong….that doping was so entrenched in the cycling world, it was just part of “pumping up the tires” and “filling up the water bottles.”  Really?  Because those other things don’t result in one being stripped of seven Tour de France titles as well as an Olympic medal.  Come now, Lance, are we really to take the predictable adolescent response of “everybody does it” as the rationale for years of fabrication in an intricate machine of doping, lying, bullying, and suing? Continue reading