A whole nation on it’s knees before god.
September 11, 2011 § Leave a comment
It’s been ten years. Ten long years since I stood and watched in my bedroom still in my school uniform. Ten long years since September 11th 2001. I remember it. I remember coming home to my mother fixated on the television, she turned to me, and in that dead tone quick firing voice that all human beings share in those moments when they know they are witnessing history. An event that will be discussed for the next hundred years. An event that will be the defining moment of our generation. The defining moment in a decade that wasn’t even two years old. We were too young to be defined. We were too young for any of this. The things that always stuck with me, wasn’t the Hollywood moment when the second plane hit the tower live on television, or even when the towers came to the ground spilling the dust of shatter lives across the what used to be the New York skyline, it was three things that still go around and around in my head. First was the sound, that strange mix of screams and sirens, New York city on it’s knees. I heard never heard anything like that. A whole city screaming. Second was the unbelievable site that still leaves won’t leave my eyes dry, the image of those without choice who threw themselves to their deaths. The twisted realisation that these people, who had set of to work that morning, probably moaning about how the subway had been late, or that they had to get off earlier to see there kids play, where now in the fore front of a war. A war in New York city. The way it made me feel. The way it made every hair on my body stand on end, the way I tingled with a quiet fear, I still feel it now. One thing that concerned me then, as a boy in a school uniform so used to answers, was that no one had any. It wasn’t just my parents that didn’t know. It was that the people on the television didn’t know. It was that George Bush didn’t know. I can still remember when the cameras cut to Washington, the confusion of smoke pouring from the Pentagon and the rumors a “small plane” had hit it. That wondering thought of exactly how far this was going to go today. Nobody knew. Nothing else mattered. This was our Falklands, our Gulf war, our Vietnam, just all in one day. I was felt uncomfortable calling it 9/11. It was like some slick marketing term for news teams that couldn’t be bothered to say the full date of the tragedy, like saying the whole thing would take up too much time. Events like this do not to be abbreviated, they deserve every second you should take to say the full date. I know this is an opinion that I’m pretty much alone in. I just always saw it as lazy and almost disrespectful.
This was history and we all knew it. For a boy, who considered America go from the strutting pinical of democratic and military dominance, to see it on it’s knees, like me, just a scared child with tears just falling down my face, in just one day, that’s what it meant to me. I was only a kid. I was too young to see. Too young to understand. But when I went to bed after watching the news for what must have been 8 hours straight I knew that the world had changed. I knew that warm blood would be shed for what had happened this day for years to come. For better or for worse, the death toll of September 11th 2001 would be rising for years to come. I was sure of that.