Concerning today's events

Sourav Mandal

I did not find about the events in New York, Washington and Pittsburgh until I arrived at my lab in Building 13 in late morning. After absorbing the news from various news websites, another group member and I started to discuss various related things, from the wisdom of US foreign policies to the general state of humanity. As our conversation moved into the hall, we noticed a bit of math, a derivation of something, neatly and purposefully written on the hall whiteboard. Our first reaction was to dismiss it as trite in light of the day's tragedy, but then we thought: if everyone could touch such diaphanous beauty as we could, would all this have happened?

Sadly, perhaps it is only when mindless acts occur that we most fully realize how precious and jewel-like the human mind is. The World Trade Center was a tremendous Romantic symbol: in purpose, a buzz of human energy as a nexus of commerce; architecturally, a sublime product of the aggregate blood, sweat, tears and genius of a great civilization, yearning skyward -- in other words, a temple to the human spirit in New York, the exemplar city of American values. The aggressors chose their target wisely.

In the coming time, we can expect much worry and activity concerning national security and retaliation. However, over the long term, perhaps we should examine why that which is so beautiful would be considered so ugly by some. I submit that it is because freedom and intellect are one, and that those who are enemies of one are enemies of the other.