Today it’s been 10 years since 9/11. Like everyone else I know, I can still remember exactly what I was doing that day. A lot changed that day. Not only did many people die, it also sparked responses that cost even more lives: other terrorist attacks (Madrid, London, Mumbai), but also 2 wars (Afghanistan, Iraq). Another result is the polarization of politics in many (European) countries as well as right wing politicians gaining way in public opinion. And I was just wondering, with all the attacks and wars and talk that is the result of the events that happened 10 years ago: Has this world indeed become a better place?
See, because that was what they (i.e. politicians, opinion makers and terrorist groups alike) want us to believe: that by attacking each other this world will eventually be better off. Well, I don’t think so.
First of all, let’s not forget that 9/11 wasn’t JUST the World Trade Center. The Pentagon was hit as well and another plane crashed in Pennsylvania. Later attacks on the Madrid, Mumbai and London public transportation systems have also dwindled into obscurity. Then there’s two wars that resulted from the attacks also cost many innocent lives of soldiers and civilians alike. All that is ever remembered are the seconds in which those two towers in the heart of the Western financial world collapsed. In fact I think we should be commemorating not just that one day. Today, we should be commemorating 10 years of tragedy and heartache.
Because that is what it is to me: thousands of people lost their lives in Manhattan this day 10 years ago, but the amount of people still dying in Iraq and Afghanistan and other attacks across the globe is far greater. That, however, is a tragedy you don’t hear anything about. Probably because it doesn’t capture people’s imagination as much, because it’s happening thousands of miles away from home for most of us and of course it doesn’t make for flashy TV, nor can you produce endless documentaries on those topics.
And that saddens me. People, innocent people, are being killed because of what? Religious, economical and political differences. The tale is as old as time so why haven’t we yet figured out a way to stop it? Why can there only be one way which is deemed right? Why can’t we embrace our differences and cut this fighting each other over petty arguments? When will the insanity stop? Because it really is insane. The world will never become a better place through fighting over differences that can’t be overcome. History should have taught us that much and yet we keep going. This world will only become a better place once we overcome our differences, not fight each other over them.
On a side note, 9/11 does not have to be a date that is linked to unhappy thoughts. Well, for me it isn’t anyway. I happen to have many happy memories regarding 9/11. September 11th 2001 was my parents’ 21st wedding anniversary. We were having cakes and coffee with my grandparents when the towers were hit. Which makes for some great irony. But with that being said: since it’s been 10 years, today marks my parents’ 31st anniversary. So from this spot I would like to wish my parents a happy anniversary. May there be many more to come.
Q: What does 9/11 mean to you?