First of all lets talk about this image. I’ve chosen this image rather than one of the falling of the towers 10 years ago because I think it represents this day much better. That cityscape is still stunning without the towers and the city is still running. Today is a time to reflect back. Not only on that one day, but on the past ten years.
10 years ago today, I was in high school. It was a normal day of school classes, lunch and waiting for home time. By the afternoon I knew something was up, the teachers were tense and having conversations away from us students – something was up. But I shrugged it off pretty fast as I couldn’t imagine anything that would cause this behaviour anyway.
The walk home from school was normal, chatting with friends. I got home before my parents, dumped my bag on the floor and turned on the TV whilst I waited for my mum to get home. My heart stopped as I saw breaking news plastered across 90% of the channels and I slowly gathered the information about what had happened. At this point it was only speculation that it was a terrorist attack. My mum arrived home, said hi as normal carrying her shopping into the kitchen and I remember just saying something like “New York has been attacked, two planes have flown into buildings”. I spent the next few hours glued to the TV.
I think Maaike has made some excellent points in her post about 9/11 this morning and the 10 years that have followed it. There has been much retaliation because of 9/11, two wars and more terrorist attacks. Being British, the London bombings obviously effected me and my life the most. However I’m not upset that 9/11 still gets the limelight. I’m very proud of my country in that although we were all in shock, lives were lost and disrupted that day we carried on. We carried on the next day, we refused to be terrorised in our own country. It’s like showing the bully that you really don’t care and aren’t effected by their name calling.
The wars of retaliation are completely awful, so many people have died in these more than lost their lives in the actual terrorist attacks. I am all for liberating countries who are ruled by tyrants but we are not getting very far with that – it was not thought out. It was just a knee jerk reaction.
I’m also all for bringing such awful people to justice, so that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again as well. But as Maaike asked in her post – is the world really a better place now?
If it is better, it is but a small fraction better which then has to be weighed up against the cost of gaining that small fraction.
The west has also joined the never ending succession of wars about politics, religion and differing opinions (before you get mad at me re-read above about me being completely for liberating people and ridding the world of tyrants). I wonder, when this will stop. When we will realise that we are all passionate about different things and if it doesn’t hurt themselves or other people, we can actually live in peace.
Which brings me swiftly to today. Today I refuse to watch any documentaries, footage or news about 9/11 like half the world will today. I know what happened. I have friend who were effected. However it is now 10 years later. I refuse to give another tyrant the limelight over this and I will not have this made about conspiracy theories.
This is about those people that lost their lives that day, and in the 10 years since then as a direct consequence of 9/11. It’s time they were remember but left to rest in peace.
It’s also a day to look at that New York skyline remember how we can pull together to rebuild, and how there are many more good people in the world than there are bad.
That is what is worth remembering.
I will be standing with my friends as I always do. May everyone who has lost their lives truly rest in peace.
What does 9/11 mean to you ten years on?