World Trade Center Tower, and the National September 11 Memorial. It was simultaneously inspiring, sad, and troubling for me-inspiring because it is a testament to our human and American spirit to not be cowed by tragedy and the progress made since our previous visit in 2009; sad because of the events on 9/11, those preceding that made it possible; troubling because of all that has transpired and been lost nationally and world-wide since.
Nevertheless, the experience was re-affirming: while I am eternally grateful for a loving family, friends, and associates, I am also reminded of my great fortune to live in a country whose greatness is founded on the principles of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, the greatest document to emerge from the Age of Enlightenment and brought forth by our Founding Fathers, which, by the way, also just happened to change the world forever. It also serves as a punch to the gut reminder that its guarantees have been mortgaged and paid for as much, if not more, by the blood and sacrifice of all that have served us in our armed services from our earliest hours as a nation till now as it has by the collective political wisdom and insight of our best and brightest artists, writers, philosophers, educators, janitors, masons, ironworkers, policemen, firemen, doctors, lawyers, nurses, aides, interns, temps, farmers, fieldworkers, engineers, cabbies, carpenters, plumbers, and oh, yes, investment bankers and politicians, too, making it possible for me to witness these Phoenix like moments, write these words, and recall Ben Franklin's response when queried about what type of government we have: "A republic, madam, if you can keep it."
With this in mind, and with this being an election year, please, if you are an American citizen, 18 years or older, register and vote. It's the least you can do for those who went before us and for those whose time is yet to come. Not to mention that whom you vote for also may determine whether we keep our Republic of, by, and for the people and not some some corporation masquerading as a person. Thanks for reading this far, if indeed, you have.