To better understand this power of religious passion, or "the Religious Bomb," as Thomas Cahill names it in Heretics and Heroes, we need to unpackage the many dynamics and components of religion and identity.
They've designed architectural spaces that don't necessarily tell the visitor all there is to feel or know. Instead, they invoke a visceral reaction -- for example, at the sight of a fire truck, crushed and shorn of its cab.
Even as the border children slow and their cases surge in states like Texas and New York, advocates point out what they said would obviously happen: we sent at least some of those children to their deaths after deporting them back to warzone-like conditions.
Isn't what matters most that we all remember? That we remember not just the drama and the tallies of lives lost, but the individual moments and people. And the efforts by those who love them to create lasting temples to their memory.
We collectively share what happened 13 years ago, the events that changed our world forever, but each of us also owns a personal narrative from that fateful morning. Where I live, in the suburbs of New York City, we were especially hard hit.
On September 13, I put on a dust mask and carried two grocery bags full of produce so that I could pass for a below-Canal St. resident and get close to Ground Zero. It was true that only residents were allowed to cross the barricades, but I felt a strong need to feel connected.
Now that the museum's opening is over, and the public has been given its space for remembering, it is time for the museum's administrators to return to the private suffering of the victims' families. It is not too late to give the 9/11 families the rights they deserve.
A nation's politicians and foreign policy do not define its people; ordinary citizens reacting extraordinarily define its people. My neighbors, friends and thousands of other people like them make America strong, rich and resilient.
This week, President Obama spoke at the dedication of the 911 Museum, which opens to the public on May 21, 2014. What you won't see or hear about at the museum are the stories of Stu and George -- two heroes who saved as many lives as were lost on 9.11.01.
Everything that the nearly 6 million Atlantans experienced this week was both predictable and avoidable. That is what makes the C.Y.A., excuse-filled press conferences by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Georgia Governor Nathan Deal both infuriating and insulting.
In a crisis, how do we keep individuals from publicly sharing sensitive information which can endanger lives within minutes? Verification of facts is of utmost importance, but is it immediately possible given the scope and instantaneous nature of the internet?