Experiencing life after death

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With the images stained against the insides of our heads, we turn to what to do next.

My friend Hank says we should call upon our new allies in Lebanon and Syria and Italy to impound every last cent of every last Bin Laden bank account. We should then foreclose on all the equipment we've sold his construction company. And we should take that fund, simply and elegantly, and pay for the education of tens of thousands of orphans.

We should do that. We should also remember, as the people who put a man on the moon, that if we can imagine it, it might well happen. We should know that the images we create can be a kind of pre-terrorism in their own right, unwittingly aiding and abetting people like this every bit as much as those flight instructors in Florida.

We should remember that. And we should go on.

Truly, nothing will ever be the same. The planes that once delivered us home to our families, the mighty buildings we work in, the wispy blue skies over our heads have been turned into weapons of mass destruction.

Like everyone, the people at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners were burdened with all this as we gathered last Wednesday. During a moment of collective silence, we heard the sounds of voices and footsteps outside, the cable cars going up California Street.

It is these things, the sweet details of our everyday lives, that are the best revenge. Against the images that have emanated from the criminal's dark crustacean mind, we hold up joyful, humorous things of light and color that, if they remain in people's heads, are hopefully welcome there.

It's what we did and could do.

Mr. Goodby is co-chairman of Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco.

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