From faraway Israel, I listen to the news in quiet sadness. Not horror. Not shock. I'm Israeli -- I hear about bombs and dead people every day. Not having seen a single picture yet, I am distant enough to contemplate the potential consequences. Chief among those is that terrible word: WAR. This may be the first day of a new, terrible war.
Not being religious, and not thinking much of humanity's political systems and their ability to cooperate benignly, I am very pessimistic, and feel that mankind will have cause to remember September 11th, 2001 for more than the terrorist acts themselves, but as an opening chord of some grander, more terrible symphony. This musical metaphor immediately brings to mind Bejamin Britten's War Requiem, a classical requiem with English text from the poems of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon intertwined with the Latin. I shudder.
update: More planes hijacked, more crashes at the Pentagon... Books will be written about this black day, already termed "The Greatest Terrorist Catastrophe in the History of Mankind". I sit and hear the constant breaking news, powerless and remote (no worse off than being powerless and near, of course), and I am numb. More pain, more deaths, less reason, less compassion. And someone, somewhere, considers this good and worthwhile, profitable. Arrrgh!