Life in the post-9/11 United States is reflective and contemplative, even spiritual, and very definitely American. Pre-9/11, America as a nation was out of focus. We were a nation of many causes and just as many cultures seeking each to be the vocal voice. Everyone was proud of individualism. Even the army reiterated this by changing their ad campaign tagline to "I'm an army of one." In the Southwestern US, the celebration of Mexican Independence Day was getting underway with parades and festivals. Red, white and blue were rare and red, white and green were the fashion. Then came 'The Big Bang', the alarm went off and we all seemed to find the error of our ways, whatever we perceived that to be.
What was the underlying thought that brought us into churches, burned us with the desire to sing 'God Bless America', and forced us to cross lines like the separation of church and state that just days before we had been adamantly fighting to maintain? Yet, for all that wall building, it was our own united congress that broke forth into the song God Bless America on the Capitol stairs.
Amongst New Yorkers, especially the population of blue-collar workers affected most by the tragedies (firemen, police and rescue personnel) Roman Catholicism was the most prevalent faith. Candlelight vigils, last rites, and picture memorials sprung up almost instantaneously as this group collectively struggled with its grief in a distinctively Catholic display of mourning and faith.
Swami Kriyananda had this to say regarding the events as took place in New York: "We are living in a time of global confusion -- morally and spiritually above all. I would like to have witnessed, on television coverage so far, more talk of God and less of the superiority of our democratic system. The real struggle of these times is between light and darkness: between enlightenment and willful ignorance, between God and Satan. America, as the great Indian yoga...