Like so many other Americans, I have spent the week in shock, anger, and grief over this week's events. Each new story of loss is a heart wrenching reminder of the preciousness of every human life. Every one of those thousands of casualties means untold pain to so many others.
Now, added to the grief and anger, comes a sickening dread. Will our country stoop to the morality of the terrorists by inflicting similar pain on innocent people of other countries? Will women, men, and children who are unfortunate enough to live under regimes defined as US enemies be subjected to American bombs and missiles?
I believe that the guilty should be brought to account. But I also believe that the US should stand up to our highest principles, not stoop to inflicting carnage on the innocent as the terrorists have done. We are a lawful country, and should operate within international law. We Americans believe in protecting the innocent until proven guilty. We Americans value every human life.
I have two children. I believe what we do in the next few days will determine whether they grow up in a world that respects human life, or one that believes that violent retaliation is justified, even if untold numbers of the innocent are killed and maimed in the process.
We Americans are facing a test. Let us not lash out in anger and fear, but choose our response with wisdom and compassion.