September 11 Digital Archive






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TomPaine Story: Story


Going Forward with Fundamentals in Patriotism Education

9/11 led to more therapy than learning in US classrooms in the three months after the terrorist attacks. Though not denying that children needed therapy to feel safe and see the attacks in perspective, my research of patriotism during those three months showed that it was a superficial patriotism that was being practiced in the nations schools.

9/11/02 does not augur well in becoming a commemoration that would energize the nation towards a more perfect union with itself, with other nations, with life on the planet. For New Yorks Mayor and Governor and competing democrats are to read historical documents without leading the City and the nation in reflection about lessons learned.

I for one would like to see those and other politicians growing to become more of statesmen and stateswomen who are able to articulate events and trends within a vision a sustainable future not only for the nation and for humankind, but also the Earth community as a whole. Within such vision authentic patriotism can grow: blossoming forth from love of country it will include an ever-widening circle of concern for people and planet. It would be part of a critical patriotism curriculum that challenges students to go forward with fundamentals.

Fortunately, a large part of that vision of a sustainable future for the Earth community has emerged during the last ten years since humankind started its reexamination of its habitation on the Earth at the Rio Earth Summit in June 1992. Hopefully, its successor summit at Johannesburg about a week ago will have accepted the Earth Charter Initiative which is humankinds and the Earths best hope for a sustainable and sustaining future, being as it is an integrated ethical vision for social and ecological peace.


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