This date has always been a special date for me. In fact, even before I can remember it, it was a special date. Especially for my Mam. (Funny that in the UK it’s “Mum”, in the US it’s “Mom” and in Ireland we have “Mam” – I wonder if there is a Mim and a Mem anywhere).
For this is the date that I was born on. My birthday.
For many years my special day was a secret to be shared only with friends and family. That all changed in 2001.
I remember that I was at a meeting when the events unfurled around the world. Passing by another staff members office, I was called in to see that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Centre in New York. At the time I was working in the aviation business and the news struck right to the heart of humanity and it hurt. Collectively we all thought that it was such a terrible disaster. As I watched live on TV, the second plane struck. Immediately, those present knew it was an attack. Surely this then, was a day that would change the world we live in forever. Perhaps we were witnessing the opening act in World War III. “The Americans will retaliate. They have no choice”, were typical of the comments in the immediate aftermath. But so was the sorrow. How could anyone, anyone, do this to their fellow human beings.
We know now what happened. I still find it immensely difficult to look at any of the documentaries giving us the facts. They are simply too terrible to watch. Heartrending.
I remember clearly stopping the car at the side of the road a week later, as the country observed a minute’s silence as a mark of respect for the dead. Even writing this, the lump is pushing at my throat, trying to get out. Tears are welling up in my eyes. It is that raw.
Despite everything that we know now, it is still incorrect, too simplistic and tribal to say that Muslims did this. Religion is man made. I truly believe this. Not a “faith based belief” but a “lack of evidence” belief. People did this to other people. Call it what you like but people are at the heart of this evil. Not the wishes of some deity.
People are capable of so much that is good, sometimes great things. Witness the fantastic accomplishments of the human race; civilisation, the moon landings, the triumph of science over adversity and the creative arts, to name but a few. Unfortunately human beings can also do despicable acts.
Though the people responsible may rationalise it the fact is that what transpired on 9/11 is simply wrong. Nothing can justify this act.
The loss of so many lives, each and every one innocent. And witness how the world’s religions are now so afraid to say anything to Muslims, afraid of igniting the madness again. See also how some are apparently enjoying this notoriety. It makes me so sad to think that the most intelligent life form on this planet has wrapped itself up in such elaborate intricate and divisive belief systems that this is the result. The worlds peoples need to grow up.