Sunday, 19 February 2012


(I wrote this within a few minutes of visiting the WTC site)

I'm writing this sat on a bench at an intersection about 3 blocks from the most surreal tourist attraction New York has to offer, the 9/11 memorial site. It seems wrong that what was once the worlds largest building, then the worlds largest mass grave and then was finally world's largest crime-scene is now bathed in the flickering light of a thousand flashing cameras. I think that says more about us as a species than the attacks themselves ever could. The events of September the 11th 2001 were a tragic display of the phenomenon of six degrees of separation, everyone was in some way connected no matter how loosely. I myself had visited New York on a school-trip in February of that year and I'm certain some of the people I was served by in various gift shops at the Towers died that day. The human mind doesn't like to confront death as such the attacks were incredibly other worldly, they seemed too big to happen even as they did. Even now over a decade later people can only process it through the lens of a camera-phone. The combination of the bizarre and the pedestrian makes visiting the site one of the oddest experiences of my life... still I got some good photos.

(The following I write sitting at home in the UK)

Whilst in the states I met up with an old friend and, having been to visit the WTC site, conversation turned to the events of 9/11. I don't think that it's the easiest subject to discuss even with the benefit of the amount of time that has passed since it happened. I think it is very easy for us to overlook how much that single event hanged the world and for those of us in our late twenties it's easy for us to overlook how lucky we were to have lived in the world before it happened. It's easy to be glib and to be dismissive and pretend like it was no big thing. I remember the feeling of dread that hit me that day and it wasn't dread at what had happened but dread at what I knew was coming next. The reaction to the events of that day has been the overwhelming factor of the political climate ever since. It's hard to overstate the impact that one event had on the world we now find ourselves in and that makes it easy to forget that 9/11 wasn't just a political event or a terrorist attack or a shift in the global political system. It was also the day that 2996 people died. I think that's as much as I'd like to dwell on what is an essentially gloomy subject.

eddie <the skyline still looks weird as well>

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