But things aren't normal, are they? Despite our leader's exhortations to get back to that state, despite the flags flying once again at full staff, despite the changing of the season and the rising of the sun each day, America is not back to normal and never will be.
And I just can't make you laugh right now. I can't even make myself laugh. There's no way in the world I can crack wise about Billy Bob Thornton 's vanity CD or Reba's new sitcom when rescue crews are digging through the rubble of the World Trade Center, looking for the bodies of our fellow citizens.
Especially when I know that no matter how long it takes this issue of CST to go through the printing process and the postal service, by the time it gets to you rescuers will still be digging through rubble, looking for bodies.
Like you, I am angry, and sad and confused. I'm afraid. And I'm hopeful too. The whole world has changed, and I have to believe that in some ways it will change for the better. If it doesn't then those thousand of innocent people will have died in vain, and we must not allow that to happen.
I am also hopeful because in the last couple of days, sometimes a whole hour or more will go by where I don't think about what happened on Sept. 11th and about how different this world is from the world I thought my son and daughters would grow up in. There have been times when I've smiled, almost laughed.
But then I remember, I always remember. And the tears return, that knot of anger returns. The memory of what Mary McGrory said to Daniel Patrick Moynihan after John Kennedy's assassination: "We'll never laugh again."
Moynihan's famous reply was "Of course we'll laugh again. It's just that we'll never be young again."
Right now I'd settle to just be able to laugh.