After the first newsflash, there wasn’t much reality to that morning of 9/11. Some were on their way to their first coffee break and others wrapped in their own arms and thoughts saying, “This can’t happen here.” Some remembered that day in Dallas – “Big D” they call it as the D in Death. When the first bulletin on 9/11 was heard, the announcer sounded stunned and confused. His careful training in voice and diction went out the window. You snatched fleetingly at the hope that it was only an unconfirmed rumor as you surfed the networks. A paralysis was setting in as millions of minds focused on the suicide attacks at targets in New York City and Washington, D.C. There was a steady flow of bulletins, the announcers sounding breathless as though they had been slugged in the stomach. But all the while a lump was forming in your throat. Your thoughts ambled in a most confused way as the news tickers clattered in the background. Old timers remembered Arthur Godfrey sobbing on the air as he described FDR’s funeral and the peculiar, choked phrase, “”God bless his gaudy guts.” Tears glistened on the stubbly cheeks of combat GIs. There was Walter Cronkite clearing his throat and announcing, “John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, is dead.” Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination threw our nation into half-mast. The terrorists’ attacks threw our nation into unparalleled tragedy. CNN and FOX proclaimed “America’s new war!” We’ve entered a new age, brutally shaken, but more than ever aware of the dark forces around us and within ourselves that can still be controlled. If we’ve learned anything, we have learned that there is no such thing as security. When anarchy reigns – and anarchy begins when you stop caring for your fellow man – then not even the most valuable person in the land is safe. All the guns in the Secret Service could not keep us safe, and all the weapons of mass destruction at our command will not keep us safe. The only shield is compassion and understanding, firm in the face of hate.