I watched the NFL debut of Peyton Manning vs Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday Night Football. When it ended i found my wife who was watching a 911 broadcast - the firefighters were walking through the ash and debris the day after - most not wearing masks - it was sombre and disturbing to see it again.
i thought of the contrasts i had just seen - Ben drove the field taking 9 or 10 minutes to methodically drive down the field - overcoming penalties dropped passes, sacks everytime it seemed he was done, he found a way to score. then peyton would get the ball and pick the defense apart once going 80 yds in 36 seconds. It had to be deflating in that rarified Denver air, but Ben kept struggling only to come up short in the end.
I though of the contrast i had just seen, huge crowds and i am sure millions of fans watching a "meaningless" sports event. and being treated to a really great opening sunday night game, and the post apocaliptic landscape of the 911 aftermath.
I have heard the conspiracy theories and stories of the close bin laden - bush family relationship and of course the tracic outcomes for thousands of familes on that day and in the 2 wars since. i've heard the haters and the crazies, Christian, Muslim and otherwise, who perpetuate the worst aspects of our humanity.
and i thought about the bravery and pathos, the people jumping with no hope of survival,a dark and aweful day without question, but there was someting more.
There was a unity and a connection to each other in this tragedy, a belief that some good could come from this. The fundraising with the concerts for New York, the people of Gander Newfoundland and people everywhere opening their homes and communities to stranded passengers and events since. great works and the expectation that something might change.
That hope still lives and change starts with each of us, the silent majority, doing good works, Education, Human rights, fairness. try and do something extra this year and honor the memories of 911 and the lives lost since - every bit of good cant hurt.
I dont hold the answer. perhaps Ben and Peyton on the NFL ticket!