Published in the Tallahassee Democrat, February 15, 2012 - There’s nothing more quintessentially American than a town hall meeting. It’s how the business of American community has gotten done from just about the moment the first disaffected European foot hit ground in the New World.
Even if you’ve never attended one, the town meeting is buried so deep in our country’s psyche that you can probably immediately call up its intimate details – rows of folding chairs, town council up front with only a school lunch table to define their status, a charmless but functional meeting room. Someone probably saw to it that there would be coffee and cookies. Overachievers might organize a potluck. Read all »
The Star Spangled Banner played at the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace the morning of September 12, 2001. The same day, Le Monde blazed the headline across Europe “Today We are All Americans.”
It would be months later before Africa’s Masai tribe learned of the tragedy when native son Kimeli Naiyomah – in New York City on 9/11 where he had been sent to medical school to bring medicine to his people – returned to Kenya. Speaking volumes across oceans and language and culture, the Masai then gave the most powerful nation on earth what was most precious to them – cows – which they exchanged for beads to make the jewelry of the Masai to sell for aid to America.
In the days after the tragedy of September 11, in one searching conversation in a nation full of searching conversations, my brother told me he looked to the day that we captured Bin Laden, brought him back to the United States to stand trial, having given this man – who likely perpetrated the most grievous crime against America is our history – an attorney to defend him. Read all »