9/11 plus 10

Ten years ago today terrorists flew two hi-jacked planes into the World Trade Center and another into the Pentagon, with the loss of nearly 3000 lives. The world has arguably never been quite the same since. Since that fateful day we’ve been in the ‘Post-9/11 era’; the feeling that the world is a kind of warzone has seeped into the consciousness of many; the idea that, like it or not, we’re all involved in an invisible war against an unseen enemy.

I was at my desk in the office when the news started breaking; we saw footage of the first plane crashing into the towers on a tiny low-res video on the BBC website. From that moment there was an air of unreality, of the impossible happening. It was like watching a film, a movie – not real life. This could not actually be happening.

When I got home and saw the non-stop news bulletins of the other attacks, the sense of surreal unreality only heightened. No-one really knew what was happening or why; no-one could take it in, let alone make sense of it. It looked like the Apocalypse; the End of the World unfolding on our TV screens. There was hushed talk of a Third World War. And in the background, on every screen in probably half the world, the dark smoke rising; the towers falling.

Readers of this blog will be well aware that I’ve not agreed with every aspect of American foreign policy after 9/11, nor indeed every aspect of UK foreign policy. I feel uncomfortable about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, about the whole concept of a ‘War on Terror’, and about the manner and circumstances of Osama bin Laden’s killing. But today isn’t a day for any of that.

Today is a day for the dead and their families and friends; a day for remembrance, for mourning and grief; a day to bow the head in silence before the awful fact of human death, human tragedy and human loss. Anyone who has been bereaved in any way knows the terrible pain, the aching, gaping, raging void of irreplaceable loss. We stand today with those who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks, and we mourn with you.

God bless America; God also bless Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Israel, Palestine and every other nation and people in this broken and hurting world. God heal our wounds; redeem our sufferings and sorrows. And may our grief bring us together, instead of driving us still further apart in hate and vengeance and endless warfare.


About TheEvangelicalLiberal

Aka Harvey Edser. I'm a web editor, worship leader, wannabe writer, very amateur composer and highly unqualified armchair theologian. My heroes include C.S. Lewis and Homer Simpson.
This entry was posted in Controversies, Evil, Politics and faith, Tragedy, World events. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 9/11 plus 10

  1. Rosie Edser says:



  2. Ray Shoop says:

    Personally, I’m glad the annual 9/11 celebration is over. I don’t know how many more of these regurgitations of the happenings of that day I can endure. Why must we continually pick at our scabs and put these unpleasant happenings behind us? Let our wounds heal! Surely there must be other more urgent happenings we need to address.
    So, 3,000 people lost their lives that day. Is that really so significant? Especially, when there are so many other deaths each day that, if we put our mind to it, we could reduce them considerately. Instead, we fight a war that, after we have won, we continue our killing and maiming. Now our great nation is on the verge of collapse. I believe we have gotten our revenge. Let the world get back to normal, whatever that is, i.e., do we even know what normal is anymore.
    Think of what we could have accomplished if we had invested some of what we shelled out supporting our war efforts over the last decade in helping, not only our country’s starving people, but the world’s starving masses, especially the children.
    Over 46 thousand people are killed in car crashes each year in the U.S. alone: 443, thousand Americans die prematurely each year from smoking or being exposed to the smoke of other’s smoke. We are improving, but, we have a long way to go.
    Well over a million Iraqis have been killed since 9/11, most of them civilians: 8,800 Americans have been killed which includes the 3,000 killed in the 9/11 incident: over 42.5 thousand of our young men and women have been wounded, not to mention the ones who came home with less of a mind than they left with. Haven’t we all suffered enough yet? Do we have to be so blatantly reminded each year with videos repeatedly popping up on the boob tube, interviews of children who were mere babies back then, until you have to turn it off to get away from it?
    The two evil individuals responsible for this whole mess have been caught and put to death. Let’s put an end to it and let our wounds heal, and make ready for the next evil ones that, most assuredly will come along. It seems humanity cannot function in peace for too long. If there is a god out there, it surely does not have our best interest in mind.
    Will someone please wake me when it’s over? I think next year at this time I’m going to go camping out in the wilderness for a couple weeks, and hope there are no clowns out there operating their portable TVs.


    • I hear what you’re saying Ray, and I did actually think of saying several of those things when I posted, but decided against it for the time being – it didn’t feel like the right moment.

      Yes, I agree – hundreds of thousands of people die every day, and each death is tragic. Apparently over 30,000 children die daily of preventable diseases, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia; that’s a tragedy we could probably do something to alleviate.

      As a Christian, of course I don’t agree that if there’s a god out there, it/he/she surely doesn’t have our best interests at heart, though I do feel the emotional power of the sentiment, and sometimes I too feel the same. But for me, 9/11 and the subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have nothing to do with God, whatever the motivation of those involved. True, the Old testament is full of war and genocide – something I would like to write about at some point. But in my view, the bottom line is that God is love and that Christ, who was non-violent, gives us our best picture of what God is really like. People like Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Francis of Assisi – and Christ – show another way than that of violence and revenge. But it’s a tough way to follow.


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