In Gaston Hall, on the evening of April 2, 2012 Margaret Atwood mused on debt, payback, revenge and what might the world be like now if the events of September 11, 2001 has been forgiven (after a period of thoughtful mourning) by the affected nations and their political leaders instead of a trigger excuse to bomb a swath of the Middle East and Central Asia into smithereens, killing hundreds of thousands of ordinary people and extending the dull-minded cycle of revenge.
Never mind, it didn’t happen that way. Forgiveness costs too much.
But what is the price of payback?
Does anyone know the number of multi-national soldiers who have died in the endless Middle East wars? Does anyone know the number of children, elders, women and men killed because they were in the way of military actions in Ir-Af-Pak during the decades after 2001?
My thought is that forgiveness is a magnificent gesture of leadership. It would require a period of sorrowful reflection and consultation with the other countries whose nationals perished in the event.
* 2,176 of the people who died at the WTC were born in the USA.
* 573 were born in other countries.
* Data in the report noted below are based on 2,746 death certificates filed with the Office of Vital Records and 3 deaths that were reported outside New York City through October 31, 2003.
* Data on total deaths related to the events of that day in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia were not included in the WTC Disaster Death report authored by the City of New York.
Source: Departent of Mental and Mental Hygiene, Bureau of Vital Statistics, The City of New York. Special Section: World Trade Center Disaster Deaths, December 2003. http://www.nyc.gov/health