I’ll Always Love You Though, New York

Today I was going to post an album review (which will now be up tomorrow) before I noticed the date.

I’m from Liverpool, UK so obviously 9/11 didn’t have a huge effect on me the way it would have with most Americans. I was also 11 at the time and was in my first week of high school so I didn’t know a lot about politics, terrorist attacks or even really the world outside of my small corner of it. Then again, most people seemed to be startled and confused as to what a terrorist attack was. It was so alien to even adults.

At the time of the attack, I was in my final class of the day, home economics (or tech as I think we called it) and I was sewing a Cartman hand puppet. I was tired and desperate to go home. I didn’t like high school and I didn’t like sewing. My teacher was beckoned out of the room by another teacher for around 2-3 minutes and when she came back in she was laughing. She said the Twin Towers had been attacked. A plane had gone into them. She couldn’t stop laughing. I didn’t know what the Twin Towers were, I didn’t know how a plane could go into a building, I didn’t know why she was laughing.

When I finally arrived home, my parents couldn’t speak, they were just staring at the TV. The same scene kept repeating. It looked like something from a film. It just wasn’t processing for me. The number of deaths was rising and it just was surreal, terrifying, confusing. New York was where Friends was set, That’s about all I knew about it. It was another world away. Yes, another world away but somehow so close that the attacks brought everything around me to a standstill. I lived two doors down from a pub and everybody in there was crowded around a TV. Just staring.

When I spoke to my friends, we tried to figure it out. What a terrorist attack was, why they happen, are we in danger?  Why can’t our parents explain it? How does this even happen? We couldn’t figure it out and to be honest, 12 years later, I still don’t understand it. I still can’t fathom it. I still can’t imagine how many people have lost loved ones.

New York doesn’t seem so far away any more. America doesn’t seem like another world. It seems like our neighbour. Like most creative people, all my biggest dreams take place in New York. It’s the land of dreams for me and the one place I’ve always wanted to call home. Or at least visit. It’s the place where I hope to end up and that doesn’t seem like an unachievable dream. America and the UK are very closely related, America isn’t all that far away and neither is New York. The world seems a lot smaller now that I’m 23.

3000 is still a huge number, though. Terrorism and the politics behind it makes sense now, in a way that will never, ever justify genocide. It still seems unfathomable. I still think of the people who died and their families. I hope they’ve made peace with what happened, as impossible as it may seem.

I don’t care about politics today, I don’t care about whether it was an ‘inside job’. I care about the families, the victims and the city that can never forget the events of September 11th, 2001.

 

This blog is named after this song:

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