After the shock of national catastrophe, we begin to hear stories. The stories will weave a human face to the tragedy. We understand story in a way that is more meaningful than even the disturbingly surreal images of television. Like you, I have been moved by the stories of brave people like the former Federal prosecutor and television political commentator Barbara Olsen calling her husband Ted Olsen, the Solicitor General, and telling him to alert the FBI of the attack; or the amazing story of the men of the United Airlines flight who voted to take on the terrorists. It may be that their effort that cost them their lives in the heartland of a Pennsylvania field saved many lives and the heart of our government at the United States Capitol. There are many stories of heroism and we will need to listen for those stories and re-tell them in the days and months and even years to come. There are many more stories, of course, which are characterized as just plain sad. One story line kept getting repeated over and over with different people acting out the same tragic script. A woman is going from hospital to hospital, looking for her husband. A man holds a picture of his wife as he screams her name and runs through the rubble. The only response is the terrified eyes of the walking wounded set in those unforgettable dust and debris caked faces. The most poignant response I heard this week came from a Hispanic woman whose husband was missing. She said, “I don’t know if I am supposed to keep looking or starting grieving. I’m stuck.” (To continue reading, please click here.)

Comments are closed.