Magazine article The Christian Century

A Hostile Global Village. (What's Changed? Reflections on September 11)

Magazine article The Christian Century

A Hostile Global Village. (What's Changed? Reflections on September 11)

Article excerpt

"We live in a globalized world, only I can't go there." So said a young American soon after 9/11. Whatever truth there may be in the belief that "everything has changed," much has certainly changed for the youngest of us. Coming to world-awareness in the '80s and '90s, American youth had many reasons to feel that they were stepping into a wide-open society. The cold war was over, with the U.S. on top. One read regularly of 30-year-old "Dot.com" millionaires. You could pick up your cell phone and call a friend in Tokyo. It was a world without borders, with Internet, e-mail, CNN--and that glittering stock market. Windows on the World: what a great name for the top floor of the World Trade Center.

Abruptly our unalloyed optimism did change. Americans were put on notice that our country has engendered resentments which can yield exquisitely planned murder. The unkindest cut in our national self-esteem and security was this: the terrorists targeted us for what some of us may have done but for which they deem all of us responsible. A yellow Star of David once identified Jews in Nazi Germany as public enemies simply for being Jews. …

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