Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

We will never forget

So, one year on. It was exactly 365 days ago since I came home from college, and, as usual, visited Eurodance, to read that a plane had hit the World Trade Centre in New York. I quickly switched on BBC News 24, to see replayed footage of the second plane hit the towers. It was then I knew that this was an act of terrorism. I spent the rest of the afternoon watching in horror as the Pentagon was hit, and then the towers themselves collapsed.
I remember seeing Tony Blair speaking at the TUC conference shortly after the second plane hit, and George W. Bush addressing the US.
I also remember seeing the newspapers the next morning, which all had pictures of the WTC in flames – some not even bothering to have headlines since the pictures themselves told the story. I spent the whole of the 12th at home since it was a day off (unrelated to the attacks), watching the TV news to get any further developments.
Over the subsequent months, hardly a day went by when I didn’t hear some reference to September 11th, whether it was a reference to the stock market, religious issues, airlines, advertising, whatever. The past few weeks has seen an escalation in coverage, with the first anniversary approaching, and although I’ll admit that the build up was a little excessive, today’s news, at least on this side of the atlantic, has been well balanced, with coverage of other stories only being slightly affected.
Has the world changed as a result? Slightly. The business world has seen changes, with the reduced dependability on airline travel, the Enron and Worldcom scandals, the loss of many workers in business during the attacks and the subsequent rollercoaster ride that has been the stock market over the past year. Patriotism has risen again in the States – whether that is a good thing or not depends on your opinion. Afghanistan has certainly changed – the replacement of the oppressive Taliban regime with a democratically elected leader is one of the good things to come out of the attacks, though the loss of many thousand Afghan civilian lives isn’t something to be proud of.
Has it affected me personally. Maybe, I don’t know. And if it did, it would only be very slightly.
The big discussion now is what to do with Ground Zero. I hope it will become a green area, with some kind of memorial to those who died; I think it would help those who lost loved ones to have something permanent to visit and pay respects. And there should be a donut stall. Non-ODP editors: don’t ask.

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