I’ve tried with little success to avoid the extensive news coverage of the anniversary of the 9/11/01 bombings in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. It’s not that it’s not worth remembering, even if it is uncomfortably sad at times. It’s just that we get daily reminders that the tragedy of 9/11 did not end with the events of that day. The “war on terror” that 9/11 spawned has been a decade long extension of that day’s violence that has produced more tragedy than triumph.
Who would have thought that many times the 3,000 original 9/11 victims would die in the subsequent decade of fighting and that so many of the people killed or affected by the aftermath would be just as innocent as those who died on that day? The whole sequence that has unfolded since then reminds me of a desperate attempt to battle cancer with chemotherapy. Doctors and patients acknowledge that chemotherapy attacks a specific problem with a systemic treatment that, while potentially effective against the cancer, may well do significant harm to other parts of the body. In fact the treatment itself might be fatal. It is an act of desperation. Every day the world reels with the side effects of our chemotherapy attack on terrorism.
So, I’ve tried to avoid too much exposure to the media remembrance of this anniversary, but with little success. Today after Sunday morning breakfast in Livingston as has come to be our custom, we took a drive through the city park along the Yellowstone River–also as has come to be our custom. But, deviating from that customary itinerary, we decided on the spur of the moment to cross a one-lane bridge to a residential area on a small island in the middle of the river. In our thirty years in this part of the country, we’d never actually driven over to the island although we’ve driven by the bridge countless times. The island road crosses under another bridge, this one carrying Interstate 90 across the river and the island. It was on the I-90 bridge support that we saw this mural. It was not until after I’d looked over the mural for a while that I saw the date in the lower right hand corner (shown below).
What’s that saying, “there’s no such thing as coincidence; everything happens for a reason”? It’s going to take me a while to figure out why this happened today.