So many TV news specials at this turning of year look back at the top stories of the last 12 months. We watch these programs, see again the faces we, in some weeks, saw every day--Elizabeth Smart, Jessica Lynch or the latest odd couple from the latest "reality" dating show. We review the 2003 parade of the sad and the ridiculous, the hero and the buffoon, each hustled offstage after his or her 15 minutes of fame.
Other people — Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden — remain stubbornly in the headlines, as does the war that began in confidence and continues in deepening concern. We still read about the 2001 World Trade Center attack — as if by reading about it we can somehow come to terms with it, but we set aside the paper and realize that we will never come to terms with it. We wonder what the year ahead will bring, and pray that it is nothing like that, not here, not anywhere.
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