History / In the news

Lest We Forget

On this day, 10 years ago, four planes were used as weapons of mass destruction. They toppled two mighty skyscrapers and put a chink in the armour of the USA and the world.

I see a lot of newspapers asking ‘where were you when it happened?’

My response to that is ‘Unless you were in New York, Washington D.C, or on one of those planes, who cares’. Where we were and what we were doing on that terrible day pales in comparison to what those who were there, on the ground, in the buildings and in the planes were going through. A great many people lost their lives in an epic tragedy that shouldn’t be forgotten. Suicide bombers aside, everyone who lost their lives were innocent.

I look back on this date with a great sadness – not only for those who died, but for what the world has become because of this event. It blurred the lines between reality and fiction. If you had told me prior to 9/11 that a plane could make a skyscraper fall I would have laughed and told you you’d been watching too many movies with Pierce Brosnan in them. And yet … here we are 10 years later – anything is possible.

I was in New York on holiday a few months after the attacks while they were still cleaning up Ground Zero. One couldn’t help but shed tears at the size and extent of the area destroyed knowing how many people were possibly still in that pile of rubble. Despite that, New York was still strong. The Stars and Stripes flew patriotically outside almost every business and although the city was quieter than normal, the people were proud and grateful we weren’t afraid to come. The city was humbled, but the spirit was not destroyed.

The whole world still condemns what happened in the USA 10 years ago. And well we should. Just as the United Nations stands strong in New York, a United Nations of people were crushed and murdered in those buildings and planes. It was not just an attack on the USA, it was an attack on the world.

I may just be a Kiwi girl living in Hong Kong, but I care. Those who died should never be forgotten, just as those who fought for our freedom in the World Wars should not be forgotten.

So I bow my head and remember with a tear in my eye.

Lest We Forget.

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