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I remember where I was when the planes struck the buildings. Besides concern for those killed or in danger, there was a palpable sense that something had changed forever. The wild-eyed violence we’d seen around the world had come to America.
Many came together. When the president spoke to the nation, people listened — even those who didn’t care much for him. Many were ready to work together. Politics, though never dead, seemed a little more subdued in those first days.
Most didn’t have the words to express it, but they were a little more open to others. We almost felt it was a hallowed time for America.
Then the time of “we” gradually began to fade. Those always looking for opportunities saw them and pounced. Fractures and fissures broke the bonds that had temporarily brought people a little closer.
And important pillars of our society once again crumbled and fell.