A musical reflection on 9/11: Arvo Part's 'De Profundis'

When a so-called pastor in Florida threatened to desecrate the memory of 9/11 with the burning of the Koran, a book holy to millions, I figured we had reached the lowest possible point as a nation. But I never underestimate the potential for evil and ignorance in this world. (Strange how people who throw the word 'Nazi' around these days without any justification don't seem as eager to use it when confronting a case of someone anxious to imitate genuine Nazi behavior).

People of all faiths and all nations should have pulled closer together after 9/11; for a nano-second, I think maybe a lot of them did. But, nine years later, we're as messed up and fired up as ever. With so-called patriots poisoning debates on politics and social issues every day, repeating lies and distorting facts with abandon, this doesn't seem like a very hopeful time. I shudder to think where we'll all be when the 10th anniversary of the tragedy rolls around.

On this ninth anniversary of that shattering September day, I find myself thinking how far we still have to go in the struggle for understanding, civility, peace. Seems to me we're still very much in darkness, which is why I thought of this music to mark the occasion: Avro Part's "De Profundis," a work from 1980 that gives fresh weight, poignant beauty and, perhaps, a tinge of hopefulness to the ancient prayer:

"Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord ... My soul waits for the Lord, more than sentinels wait for the dawn ... For with the Lord is kindness and with him is redemption."

This music may not be enough to blot out all the noise from that self-righteous, delusional Terry Jones or other mindless chatter, but I hope you find that it helps focus the mind more clearly on the loss and the lessons of 9/11:

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