Not to be overly dramatic but the world changed on September 11th 2001.
As per usual I'm not sure if we really grasped the significance of the occasion as it occurred but by the time the smoke cleared (weeks later) we sort of had an inkling that things would never be the same again.
I remember the morning of Sept 11th. I was getting ready for work and my wife came home from the gym to say a plane hit the twin towers. My first thought then was pilot error. Interesting how that was because in our post 9/11 world when we hear of any plane crash or incident we automatically first think terror attack.
I remember tuning into some television channel, possibly CNN, and watching as the second plane hit the towers. Wow, this is not pilot error this is a deliberate attack I thought in wonderment. Walked to work, we pulled out an old grainy cream colored black and white set with the rabbit ears and tried to do some work but kept being drawn back to the television.
I kept thinking who do I know in NYC? I hope they are safe.
We watched live as the towers fell.
I dont know if one can adequately describe what one felt on seeing that event live so I wont even try.
As it sunk in later in the day and the days that followed we all felt an extra stress added to our daily lives. A stress that I dont think has left us even up to today. We trust less, we are more suspicious of people and packages, certain ethnic groups catch our eyes more, we startle easier and for a while we argued strongly from differing ideological perspectives about the causes, impact and reactions to what happened.
I've almost lost friends over 9/11 arguments. (I remember being viewed as somehow clueless because I wrote a pro-US possibly in hindsight pro-Bush poem in support of the Afghanistan invasion and performed it as well!)
For a few weeks before the Bush administration spoiled it, everyone loved America. We shared their pain and anger at this (unprovoked) attack and their sorrow at the enormous loss of innocent life. Little did we know then that extra intrusive security checks at airports, no fly lists and a 10 year occupation of Afghanistan and then Iraq were the looming legacy.
And so 10 years later where do we stand? The world is a more untrustworthy place to live, a less carefree globe now where our war making has pushed us to the brink of global depression. We live in more fear than before yet somehow loudly proclaim victory over those that started this in the first place. Go figure.
So on this 10 year anniversary of 9/11, I look back with thoughts on the victims, who never saw this coming when they woke up that morning and made their commute to work. I look back at how their deaths changed us and the world. We didnt lose our innocence that day, that had long been lost but we did lose something else; perhaps our faith in our fellow man.