Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Tuesday 11 September 2012


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.


  1. The other day I watched the first half of a documentary about the rebuilding taking place on the site of the 9/11 attack. And some of what they are moving to achieve will make for a deeply moving and impressive series of buildings.

    The craters of the two collapsed towers are being left hollow, transformed into the largest man-made waterfalls with the names of those who died during the attack enscribed in a ring around the memorial.

    And the new Tower One will be more than 400 feet taller than the previous tower with some ridiculous levels of concrete reinforcement. Apparently it will be the strongest skyscraper ever built to date.

    Very interesting documentary, its called Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero (I think, memory is sligghtly fuzzy on the latter part of the title).

  2. It's a funny thing, life and all. I was 17 when 9/11 happened. I remember it well because I didn't really feel anything. Not not saying that I didn't care or that it wasn't important to me. It was too great a thing for me to comprehend was real. Growing up, watching movies and playing video games it seemed that this was just a scene from some sort of fiction. Fast forward 10 years. I now work for a company that provides staffing for the USTA US Open here in New York (That's where I am at the moment actually). On the 10th anniversary of 9/11 it actually clicked. I remember I was walking to church that sunday and passing fire stations with memorials set up to the men and women who died that worked at that particular station. It weighed on me deeply. It was no longer an image on the TV, but a reality I had to deal with. I was a kid when it happened (in all honesty, I'm still a kid really being only 28 and all) but it's real to me now.