Sunday, June 05, 2005

More graduation comments, and the 9/11 shadow

On the graduation theme, an except from Anna Quindlen’s Newsweek column of 5/30/2005:

So the young men and women who began their college years in the shadow of September 11 graduate in its shadow as well. The intolerant, the monomaniacal, the zealots driven by religious certainty engineered the worst attack on American soil, and the result has been intolerance, monomania and zealotry driven by religious certainty. [Columbia University] President Bollinger cited the contempt of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., the legendary Supreme Court justice, for the man who “knows that he knows.” If Holmes lived today, of course, he would be either lionized or demonized. And he would find, much to his sorrow, that America had been hijacked by those who cannot tell the difference between opponents and enemies, between disagreement and heresy, between discussion and destruction.

An entire generation will know exactly what the numerics 9/11 mean -- but we may each have a different perspective, a different context for that meaning. Another irony: the reverse numeric, 11/9, is the date that the Berlin Wall fell in 1989.

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