AllTimeJeff - you're always worth reading. You're a passionate, perceptive writer who cuts to humanity of an issue. You're not afraid of making yourself vulnerable and, although comparisons can be odious, you are light years ahead of that goon, koolaid man.
Little wonder you didn't "last" as a JW elder, let alone a JW - you're heart and humanity got in the way.
I live on the other side of the world - New Zealand - and can I say that the impact of 9/11 on me was disturbing but necessary: 9/11 dashed my belief that "everything happens for a reason" and that there is a "god"of love. It ruined me for faith and turned me into someone who felt an immediate urge to live in the present moment rather than forever perched on the edge of something (paradaisical) that never ever comes. I learnt for the first time that the men who flew the planes into the World Trade Centre fervently and unalterably believed that their martyrdom would fast forward them into a paradise with scores of virgins. Idiots - but no greater or lesser idiots than the ones who innocently raised me to believe that Jehovah would soon turn the whole world into a holocaust that would make the World Trade Centre spectacle look like a "mere' home town burnin'. Religious people may have more to sing about in praise of a greater being, but they're also prone to have more to kill for or want to have killed. Given me disrespectful athiesm anyday.
It's a tragedy that the world came to a 9/11 - yet given that it's happened it would be a tragedy if we each did not take something from it. For me, 9/11 belatedly burnt away my religious delusions and forced me to see the fruitage of belief in the monster in the sky .