A Prayer for Everyone on September 11
Not long after the September 11 attacks, I saw a roundtable on television hosted by Dan Rather. The panel was made up of people who had lost immediate family members on that terrible day. A wife who had lost her husband in one of the towers, a man who had lost his son at the Pentagon and so forth. At the end of the discussion, Rather asked each member of the panel what they wanted now and whether they wanted revenge for their loved one's loss.
Every panelist answered thoughtfully and poignantly, but not one of them said they wanted revenge. The grieving father said he wanted people around the world to come to understand us better, because then they wouldn't hate us. The grieving widow said that the last thing she wanted was for anyone to suffer the loss of a loved one the way that she had.
Yet after listening to their answers, Dan Rather—the only person at the table who had not lost a loved one on September 11, 2001—said: "Well, I want revenge. And I want it to be fierce, and I want it to be swift."