Eleven. It's an interesting number. I have a friend whose favorite time of day is eleven-eleven. All those ones, together. It's an interesting image. Dominoes. Bars. A picket fence. Today is the eleventh anniversary of September 11. Fixed as I am about writing numbers out, as the training I received as a student of English composition, that continues to be the one that evades me. 9/11. Just a slash away from being a call for help. I am certain that if something had come up and the terrorists had to postpone for a week that I would now be searching for meaning in 9/18. Instead, we're stuck with the numerology of 911.
Nearly three thousand people died in the attack on the World Trade Center towers eleven years ago. There is no equation that diminishes that. Here's some more math: Private First Class Shane W. Cantu of Corunna, Michigan died last week in eastern Afghanistan. Private Cantu was ten years old when the towers fell. The announcement of his death was overshadowed by news of the Democratic conventions. The deaths of soldiers the week before were pushed to the back pages by coverage of the Republican Party's party. It's a steadily dripping faucet. The war in Iraq has wound down, but just a hop over Iran to the east, American soldiers are still fighting and dying. More than two thousand American soldiers have died since the war began. The one that made sense, since we were tracking the bad guys to their homes. Iraq was the distraction, and needed to be ended before it began. Now it's been eleven years. That's an average of an American every other day. In Afghanistan.
In New York City, the New World Trade Center nears completion. 1 World Trade Center. Eleven years. That's a lot of ones.