its almost been a week since the attacks on our country and it looks like the country is starting to regain some sense of normalcy. the stock market opened today to a predicted drop and network television has moved back to its regularly scheduled collection of commercials and worthless television.
this weekend was probably a challenge for everyone-- each of us trying to remind our brains that smiles are a beautiful part of life and that all happy thoughts don't need to be filtered. i spent saturday evening with a group of college friends and it was difficult for us to think about the lives that we had known before tuesday, september 11th. we had dinner at a popular italian place called buca di beppo's, which is known for its lively atmosphere and family style dining. although it felt awkward at first, the frequent choruses of happy birthday and going to the chapel that surrounded us as we ate were strangely therapeutic. as a group we had an opportunity to embrace and to reflect on the blessings that we shared. the bonds of brotherhood and friendship forged over the past 7+ years meant a great deal to all of us, especially in these vulnerable times.
i've gotten a lot of email about the attacks but none of them have been as important to me as the ones from my friends in the new york area. their well-written reflections and observations of the contrasting chaos and solidarity that they have lived through has been very insightful. i know that each of them has grown in character during the past week. i salute their efforts and their strength during this difficult period.
yesterday, i took the written entrance examination for the san francisco fire department. i have heard that approximately 5000 people took the exam yesterday and their seemed to be an underlying silence as we waited in registration lines for 45 minutes. clearly, the sacrifices made by the fallen new york firefighters had an impact on the applicants that had assembled on this foggy san francisco sunday. personally, i don't think that the world trade center deaths have affected my interest in firefighting negatively or positively but it was clear from yesterday's silence that all of the prospective firefighters had new york's finest in their minds and in their hearts.
i don't know if you can measure someone's heroic potential from the personality inventory tests that we were given yesterday-- or if those tests were even necessary after last week's events.