Bits and Pieces

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Four Years On

It's hard to believe that already four years have passed since 'that day'. So much has changed, not only in the wider world but also in our own lives. On 9/11/01 I was working part time in our local hospital to put myself through university. I didn't know what happened until after I got off work (I live in the UK, so this all happened mid-afternoon) and walked into town to get a paycheck advance from a local pawnbroker (OK, so I wasn't quite managing to pay for uni). The pawnbroker had a bank of TV's running along one wall, and I walked by them oblivious. I stood in line for several minutes before noticing that most of the customers in the shop were standing, slack-jawed, staring at the TV's.

After seeing the images I jumped straight on the bus and dashed home. By the time I arrived the first tower had fallen. That was basically it for the rest of the day. Myself and my family sat in front of the TV for hours, staring in disbelief at the scenes, seemingly lifted from some horrible movie. There are no words to describe the way we all felt, but none are needed. None of use needs much reminding to take us right back to that day and recall the fear and anger that brewed and boiled inside us. Today, on the fourth anniversary of that most awful of days, I have no doubt that those feelings will quickly rise again.

This year, however, I have cause for celebration. For hope. This January gone my best friend James became a father for the first time. Baby Thomas is now eight months old, and he's part of the first generation to be raised who did not have to live through that day. I hope that his generation will not be stained with the legacy of the atrocities, that he will grow up in a world in which 9/11 is a story told by his parents, something that belongs to the past - and not a shadow over his future. I hope that he will not be asked to go off to fight the enemies we made on that day. I hope they will be defeated before he has cause to worry about such things. The threat of terror is not a legacy I would like to leave for this innocent boy, and I hope with every fibre of my being that we will not have to.
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