9/11

I haven’t forgotten what the date is today.  Nor will I ever forget how I got to learn of the horrific events in New York.  I was working in the Education Centre of our local hospital at the time.  One of the secretaries had her own office and always kept the radio on during the day.  I remember her coming into our office to report a plane had crashed into the World Trade Centre.  Our first thoughts were that it was some small two manned thing which had accidently hit the building.  Then reports came in of a second plane and we knew something was badly wrong.  During the day more news came in; the plane which hit the Pentagon and another which was brought down by the heroic actions of the passengers, who lost their lives depriving it of its target which I believe was the White House.  What did occur to me at the time was that we seem to have been somewhat anaethsetised by the movie industry. Witnessing what happened on screen later that evening as our national news reported the days events, it looked like a disaster movie, it didn’t seem real.  Learning that a friend’s ex-wife had died, however, brought the reality of the whole thing home.  The sad thing is, over the centuries, many innocent people have died quite needlessly as misguided  idealists seek to stamp their beliefs on the world.  My own uncle lost his life at 19 years old during World War II.  We took my grandparents to visit his grave on the Dutch/German border in the late seventies.  Over 8,000 were buried in a cemetry which was beautifully kept and exuded a gentle, peaceful atmosphere.  But what struck me more than anything was the futility of it all.  Was the world really a better place?  At the time football hooliganism was rife in the UK and I wondered what these 8,000 would think about the world we now lived in, one that was probably not at all what they had dreamed they were fighting for.   And the awful thing is, we’re sadly still in the same position today. 

 

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