The Common Good

Surprised by Joy on 9/11/11

"[Music] is no invention of ours: it is a gift of God. I place it next to theology. Satan hates music: he knows how it drives the evil spirit out of us." -- Martin Luther

Ten years ago on September 11, I was in Chicago -- hundreds of miles away from the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and that field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

This year, I spent the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in Washington, D.C., starting my day by driving from Alexandria, Virginia, to Washington's Columbia Heights neighborhood, a short commute that took me right past the Pentagon.

I passed the Washington Monument and the National Mall, noting a few more police and security vehicles than I had a day earlier, but nothing more dramatic. Tourists wandered freely down the mall, taking pictures of monuments and other historic sites.

As I drove farther north in the city, it felt like any other hot summer day in the nation's capital. Nothing seemed different, despite the inauspicious date -- a decade since the terror attacks that had changed

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