Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 years ago today

My September 11th, 2001.

We had no children at that time. My wife was due home around 8pm or so. She rang me at about 8pm saying that she had been assaulted on leaving work, and had made her way to the local shops. I immediately jumped into my car and probably broke the Jerrabomberra to Cook speed record. After L spoke to the police we went to hospital because L was feeling like she had broken ribs.

Eventually the X-rays were taken and examined, and when we were given the all clear we were free to go. We drove home, and a few minutes before arriving at our house someone rang to say that two aircraft had impacted the World Trade Center towers. Hearing that it was obvious that it was a terrorist attack.

Of course when we arrived home we switched on the TV. I think we tuned into CNN because we figured that an American TV network would give the best information. The more immediate issue, even given what was happening, was to cancel all of my wife's credit cards and mobile phone. AMEX pissed me off to the extent that I still resent them because their automated system asked, after being the told that the card had been lost or stolen, required that we enter the "Member since date" which appears on the card. IT'S ON THE CARD WHICH HAS BEEN STOLEN - HOW SHOULD I KNOW WHAT IT IS? It took me a few goes, but I eventually guessed it.

There was plenty of misinformation - report of explosions in the middle of Washington DC, etc. I remember wondering how they would eventually either repair or demolish the damaged World Trade Center buildings. Then without warning the South tower collapsed. From that moment there was the feeling that it was only a matter of time until the North tower did the same, which of course it did. Soon after, bizarrely, we went to bed.

The next to morning we went to my wife's workplace, because she lost her address book/life story in the robbery which was part of the assault. Eventually after searching the nearby suburbs we found someone who resided nearby who had found the address book, which made it all a little bit better.

They never found the bastard who did it. Perhaps that is as well because I would have found a way to kill him, and if I wasn't careful enough I would have ended up in prison for the rest of my life.

9/11 was a disaster on many levels. My story forms a tiny part of it - my wife's is a much larger, but still tiny, part. As I sit here it's almost to the minute when we arrived home on that day. We are in a different home now and we have two beautiful daughters who were born since that day. I mourn the loss of life on that day, but almost equally I mourn the unnecessary loss of freedom to which we have submitted ourselves since then. We should not have to submit ourselves to the ridiculously intrusive TSA and other local security searches. We (the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, most of Western Europe and many others) are free countries, where we deserve to be treated like the innocent people the vast majority of us are. The loss of freedom that has occurred since 9/11 is not worth the tiny increase in security which may (or may not) have occurred. Give me back my water bottle on board, give me back a metal knife on board, give me back a pair of tweezers on board, and I promise if someone tries to hijack my aircraft I will help my follow passengers, cabin crew and flight crew to stop the bastards from achieving their aims.

Rest in Peace those who died on 9/11.


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