I've seen terrorism close up but I don't live in a state of terror at all. For perspective, the world today is a safer place than it was during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Berlin Airlift, World War II. For people living in Europe and the United States, there has never been a more peaceful time or better quality of life. The terrorists haven't won. I just grew up.
My brother was killed 14 years ago in the World Trade Center by terrorists who claimed to be devout Muslims. I have learned that what they claimed to be is irrelevant. What they believed, their fears, their warped world-views -- that's what was significant. It mattered what made them tick, not what religion they claimed.
9/11 is a reminder that with tragedy, there is resiliency and lessons learned. We go on and life is renewed and we are hopeful. I am inspired by all those who suffered losses on that day and will always honor this day for its historical significance and the reminder that Worldwide Orphans has a birthday on that day.
I've traveled to/from New York City's three major airports a countless number of times since my first flight to New York when I started Barnard College this time of year 21 years ago. But flying from LaGuardia Airport today on September 11 to the Toronto International Film Festival has been a surreal experience.
While some naysayers gleeful claim that Bernie Sanders isn't a Democrat, they conveniently forget that he stood up for liberal principles when they weren't popular, and when Democrats like Hillary Clinton aligned themselves with the GOP. Clinton had the same intelligence as Sanders, but made the wrong decision after 9/11.
With the Zadroga bill ending at the end of the month, we can expect the same politicians who get publicly weepy at 9/11 memorial services to go ahead and stiff those who personally responded to the emergency. As a nation, giving benefits to all those who were injured at Ground Zero should be a no-brainer, but this Congress can't even get that right.