We Will Endure

Today is our National Day of Prayer and Remembrance. But as far as the eye sees, today is a very international day of prayer and remembrance. We pray for the dead; we pray for those they've left behind; we pray for those we love and for our small lives on this amazing and beautiful planet.

These past few days, we have together shared decidedly international thoughts and prayers. When the World Trade Center towers collapsed on Tuesday, they brought down the offices of more than 400 companies hailing from 26 different countries around the world: coffeeshops, law firms, investment managers, architects, insurance agencies.

The dead include -- among many nationalities -- Australian, Japanese, British, South Korean, Swiss, Thai, and American men and women. Muslims and agnostics and Jews and Christians perished. And now the living, tasked with tracking down and rooting out this evil, will also be represented by a world of nationalities and creeds.

I hope that between grieving and disbelief and rage, we all feel some sense of pride as we begin to make our way through this tragedy. As a nation, we are a world trade center, with all the attendant traits. Our lives and our business communities are open and full of energy. The America that we've made together, even with its historical and contemporary blemishes, still lights a way to opportunity, diversity, and free expression. The America that we -- and so many around the world -- cherish still invites new citizens with new ideas from across the globe each year.

Those who this week sought, through terror, to undermine our freedoms do not hold this light and make no common invitation. They live in small cells, bound obscurely to leaders who have not won, nor ever could, an election by the people. Leaders who use their religion as a political weapon to restrict liberties and justify crime. Leaders who direct suicides for vengeance. Men and women who violate their faith.

Any of us who tries to attach the evil of this week generally to Muslims or non-Muslims in America or abroad does so with great ignorance. The acts can't be ascribed to the Muslim faith. There simply is no tenet of Islam, nor any Abramic faith, that sanctions the destruction of innocents or champions suicide as a noble act. There is no tenet of Islam, nor any Abramic faith, that advocates the brand of racism, violence, and hatred that govern places like the Taliban's terrorist camps in Afghanistan. The acts of this past week are faithless acts of evil.

Conversely, this past week, we've all witnessed an overwhelming flow of faithful acts of goodness from all comers. As I've read all the writings at The Motley Fool, sorting through literally thousands of the notes you've shared on our community discussion boards, I've been overcome with a sense of pride, an American pride that extends beyond this site and our country. I'm proud that together we welcome all voices. I'm proud that U.S. marines are posting here alongside Americans of Arab descent alongside people in Denmark, New Zealand, and Australia alongside firemen alongside the grieving friends of victims -- united in a sense of honor and respect. And I'm proud that together we are sending untold amounts of resources to the Red Cross relief efforts.

As I reflect on this day of memories and prayers, frankly I have no opinion on whether the economy will sputter in the coming days. Or whether the stock market will fall 20% next week and take years to recover. I'm looking past this not merely because there are greater matters at hand, but also because we will endure. We've created a system that prizes free markets, free movement, and free expression. It will rebound. We've designed a nation that defends as a right the pursuit of health and happiness. It will spring back.

To discuss these events with other Fools, join us on the Current Events discussion board.

You can also donate to the Red Cross at

The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.

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