September 11, 2011 Leave a comment
The day, the madness, the aftermath.
9/11 served to remind us of the depth of the depravity of the human condition. Obvious point isn’t it? But back to that later.
10 years ago today I was a fresh-faced secondary school pupil undergoing the same weekly ordeal I would endure for the next 5 years – the weekly two hours of “games” where I would (pretend to) play rugby and other sports before the dinner hour.
50 metres in front of the school gates as we rush back for lunch the message filters down through the ranks of scruffy 11 year olds – “Israeli fighter jets have bombed the Empire State Building”
Needless to stay this caused quite a stir and as we proceeded through the afternoon we were in a state of wonder at what had gone on across the pond.
Alas, the day ensued and after school was another opportunity for me to (pretend to) play rugby, this time with the school team. By this time the message was becoming clearer and I was soon back at home transfixed watching Trevor McDonald make sense of the day’s now apparent dreadful proceedings.
With what was perhaps my most prolonged fascination and fixation with broadcast media surpassed only by the recent UK RIOTS, I along with millions of others watched footage of that fateful morning along with reaction and response from all and sundry.
The tragedies of that day displayed the world what the Biblical record states so emphatically throughout its pages. That human beings are inherently sinful, capable of and acting upon all manner of evil and wickedness stopping at nothing to pursue our own selfish and often sadistic desires. We saw that day that 19 men saw no problem with sending thousands to their death without a hope in such a cruel, calculated manner.
One may here rightly interject and protest that none of us (whoever us are) would have done such a thing and yes I would gladly respond to the affirmative.
But before I retreat to the bunkers of intellectual concession I go on to ask you to kindly point out that person (since they so blatantly exist) who does not think about killing others, or who never has that thought of harming another because they are by being or by action an offence to us. Which one of us thinks only good to our fellow man? Who amongst us goes days on end in peaceful bliss with all around them and with their planet? Which one of us can stand and say, ‘I am a human being, I love and never do, think or say harm’?
I thought not.
You see those men but stick out because of one main reason: The actualisation of sick dreams. The power to carry out to an end their hearts’ desire.
They but had power and opportunity to carry out their desires, but I ask were we all given the opportunity at any stage of our life to carry out the harm which we would intend upon one, a few or indeed a few thousand – would we not then see how horribly horrible natural man is. No you may not want to kill millions, but is not one life, is not one mind, not so precious that it ought to be protected with all godly infused might against malicious intent?
Many a time when that most infamous of days is spoken of it is with much reflection, much questioning and eventually much bemusement. But here in closing I would like us to use this day (and I most certainly will), not to question whether it was an inside job. Not to question the rights, wrongs and misunderstandings of fundamentalism. Not to philosophise over what makes men kill on such a monumental scale.
Butt to remember and to honour.
To remember the now grown up young child whose father died on that top floor of the north tower.
To mourn with the father who was left a widower and a lone father because his wife was to be on that flight.
To mourn with the old Afghani lady who has lost both sons and grandsons to war, ‘friendly fire’ and roadside bombs.
To remember the commuters who were on a tube one morning in London 6 years ago.
To remember that young Iraqi boy who had his family taken from him when someone thought that their life counted for nothing in that suicide attack.
This day is for the countless millions who have been directly changed by that tragic day and all which came after it. This is not the day to despair at foreign policy, this is not the day to ask ‘Why?’. This is the day where we remember, where we honour those who have gone, a day where we rally round whom we can. A day upon which we think and we pray for those who are left to pick up those million pieces of a shattered life.