I had been wondering why this anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center seems particularly intense to me. One would think that the tenth anniversary, just last year, would be more “significant”, whatever that might mean.

Then I realized that the number 11 itself reminds me of the towers. There had long been a connection in my mind between the image of those towers, which loomed over the city I love for much of my life, and the day of the month when they, and so many innocent people, were horrifically destroyed.

The image of two tall figures, standing side by side, is compelling. Artemis and Apollo, Castor and Pollux, Romulus and Remus — there is power and comfort in the very idea of twin identity, of strength and solidarity in the connection between oneself and another.

And so on this, the eleventh anniversary, I realize that one of the casualties of that tragic day was a peculiarly American idea — perhaps foolish and naive, but nonetheless worth thinking — that if only we could figure out our differences, the people of the world might one day be able to stand in solidarity, side by side.

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