About nine years ago, I occupied a nice corner office on the 85th floor of World Trade Center No. 2 now a heap of rubble. At this writing (Wednesday), about 70 of 172 of my former colleagues who resided in that building, are unaccounted for. Barring miracles, they are presumed to have perished - most of them in mid-career with young families.
I must look for some redeeming value amidst the pain, grief and horror of this tragedy ... this heinous crime. Perhaps it is that we Americans so free to be diverse in our attitudes and values may be able to put many of those differences behind us now to focus on the core of American value: our freedom and the sanctity of human life.
Every generation or two, Americans have been called upon to defend those values and they have risen to the challenge. The tragedy in New York and Washington is a clarion call to today's younger generations, and we will soon learn whether they amidst the barrage of tasteless TV and movie fare and the deafening blare of their favorite music have absorbed and are ready to act on those values.
The young people of Payson make me optimistic, but only time will tell whether these age-old American values are still transcendent in the nation as a whole.
Donald K. Crowley