I have been thinking, this morning, about the nature of history and the moments in it that changed the World... forever.
I have stood on either side of some of those moments, and they are not difficult to identify. What is truly difficult... impossible perhaps... is to describe what life was like on the other side of those moments... What life used to be like... What it was like before those World changing events happened, when we were happy and innocent and...
Today is the Eleventh of September 2012, or, as the Americans would have it, 9/11/2012. Today is the anniversary of one of those days that changed the World... one of those moments that I have stood on either side of.
They call this sort of thing ‘unthinkable’ because it was, and because once it had happened we could think of nothing else for a very long time. Let us not forget that, eleven years later, wars continue to be fought.
For my older daughter this event happened half a lifetime ago. Any child still in primary school was born after 9/11. To remember in any detail a time before that event one would have to be an adult, and to be able to conjure up a sense of what life was actually like before that event one would probably have to be over thirty. My great nephew and nieces, all in their infancies, will learn about 9/11 in history classes one day, just as I learned about the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
On 9/11/2001, I was an adult, a parent, someone with a full life and a long memory, and I remember what life was like before the World Trade Centre was hit by terrorism.
What happened in New York that day was one of those events that stopped time, that reset the clock, and that changed the World and our perceptions of it, of our place in it, and of the places of others. It changed us culturally. It changed us so much that it changed the history that had gone before. It caused things, events and people to be re-evaluated, to be judged with new, more fearful eyes.
That day, that event, the falling of the Twin Towers, marks an extreme of human hatred that shames us all.
Somehow the hatred of men and their regimes, and their opposition one to another, culminated in this place with these people and this intent, and we have all lived too long with the results.