Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9-11

Ten years ago today I had just started my work day at the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, where if I remember correctly, my job consisted mainly of eight hours a day of data entry for a graduate program audit (my, how some things have changed). 

At around 8:50, when my friend Steve walked over to tell me "Two planes have just hit the World Trade Center and half of the States are under attack," I thought he was kidding - it just sounded so implausible, but he assured me it was true. I remember the tingle of fear and anxiety that washed over me. In the minutes immediately after the planes hit, so much of what we were going on was speculation, because most news sites had been shut down due to the overwhelming volume of traffic of folks trying to get information.

Not long after, someone  wheeled a TV into the lounge, and staff and faculty sat watching the screen, many of us with tears in our eyes, not believing what we were seeing. It felt like our whole world was under attack and beyond the sadness of the day, there was just so much fear and anxiety about the situation. 

In that faculty where so many of us were there because we wanted to help change the world, we were of course deeply saddened by the needless and tragic losses of lives. However, we hoped this event would be a catalyst for change on a global level, and allow us to examine the root causes of what had possessed the attackers to launch this assault on our continent. 

Ten years later, so much of the stories we are hearing is about remembering those who were lost and celebrating the heroes who came to the rescue at Ground Zero. But I haven't seen anything in the coverage discussing the root causes of why these events happened. The individuals who were responsible for this tragedy wished to cause a sensation to shake us up and send us a message.

But I'm not sure if we're any farther ahead today than where we were 10 years ago in addressing what happened on that tragic day and in understanding their message...


Alison DeLory said...

Interesting point: no one questioning the "why" of 9/11. Too big, too indefinable?

Nara Malone said...

You make a good point. There can't be peace without understanding.