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9/11 Ten Years On

There are not many events in our western world that make us sit up and take notice of something important that needs to be remembered.  Huge disasters come and go, and we try to understand what we cannot understand.  Was it really as long as ten years ago. I remember it as if it were yesterday.

When we look at Haiti, or New Orleans, and the disasters that happened, we can say to ourselves that they were natural disasters, and ones that nobody could have predicted.  Our worlds still felt safe after those events, and many of us helped to send aid to help the people dealing with the aftermath of it.

As a Scot, living in Aberdeen and with many ties at the time in the oil industry – the Piper Alpha disaster on the 6th July 1988 caused a feeling of dread, fear, and horror.  An accident that shouldn’t have happened, but it did.  168 men died, and the blaze instilled fear into thousands of offshore workers across the industry.  Preventable, but not deliberate.

9/11 changed the path of disaster for our generation.  Most of us are too young to remember the big world wars that affected the UK and the US, and our personal experience of wars is mainly limited to what we see or hear on the news.

Today is the 10 year anniversary of the disaster in New York, and few of us will ever forget watching the news, and seeing the horrors that unfolded as the two planes flew into, and then decimated the twin towers and the thousands of people who lost their lives in those awful conditions, the hit on the Pentagon,  and the bravery of United Airlines Flight 93 passengers who saved Washington.

The horror grew after the first plane struck, and we thought it was a terrible accident until the next horrific scenes were shown of a second plane slammed into the other tower.    The awful moments watching people throwing themselves out of windows.  The knowing, that what was inside must have been more than a human being could bear before they chose to throw themselves out of the building – to certain death on the streets and buildings below.  The stories of the people above and below the planes that had crashed, phoning loved ones to say their goodbyes.  Knowing, they would not get out.

The biggest deliberate disaster in our generation.  2996 mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters.  All gone so swiftly and so terribly.

It should never be forgotten.

I haven’t allowed comments on this post as I feel we all have our own 9/11 stories and fears around what happened ten years ago.