September 11 ... and every other day

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As a native New Yorker, with family and friends who live in the city, I have steered clear of 9/11 on this blog. I had 9/11 fatigue by around the 10th time I saw the television replays of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center from the safety of my hotel room in Shanghai that day. I couldn't watch any of the 9/11 movies or TV specials, and at this point I think there's not much more to be said. 

Except that yesterday I thought about the victims of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and the 2004 attack on a school in Beslan, Russia. And the train bombings in Madrid in 2004. And the nightclub bombing in Bali in 2002. And the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 2008. And the thousands of attacks that have killed tens of thousands of Iraqis over the past ten years.

Who mourns these deaths, except the friends and families of the victims? Who mourns the many, many thousands who have been wounded and maimed? 

9/11 is not just a day for Americans. Nearly 400 people from other countries lost their lives on that day as well, including 66 Britons, 47 Dominicans, 41 Indians, 28 Koreans, 24 Japanese, 24 Canadians and many others, including from Switzerland, Ghana, Jamaica, China, Peru, New Zealand, Mexico, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Portugal, Brazil, France and El Salvador. 

And since that day, civilians have been killed by terrorists on every day of the year, year after year.

Thought for the day ...

[A short note: The above image is made from a photograph taken by Michael Yon. I didn't have a chance to ask Michael for permission to use the mage before posting, but an email is in his inbox and I hope he'll give me his blessing. Michael's story of the photograph is here, and I'm very sorry to say that the little girl – Farah – in Major Mark Bieger's arms did not make it. One of the many thousands of victims of global terrorism.]


Jeffrey said...

Excellent. My wife was working across the street at the World Financial Center during the attempt in 1993. We still had friends in the city in 2001, including one who was among the thousands working south of the towers who had to walk miles north to get home.

I happened to be at a professional baseball game yesterday. There was a respectful and surprisingly non-maudlin/poor U.S.A. remembrance. But then I live in a liberal city and the majority ownership is foreign.

I'd like to think most thoughtful Americans have come to understand that we didn't so much "even the score" post-9/11 in Afghanistan and Iraq as commit a crime. But as our military actions abroad affect so few Americans directly (nothing that reinstating the draft won't cure!), probably not.

Roberto said...

As you say ... almost certainly not. And that's the result of waging war form a distance. No one at home (save the relatively few who provide the troops who incur the casualties) is invested in the death and destruction.

Glad you liked this. As I wrote, I was almost certain I wouldn't do anything, then had an idea thanks to the suggestion of a friend.

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