Friday, 12. September 2008, 01:45:28
You may well ask what an Aussie could have to say about the twin towers in New York collapsing. I remember clearly what I was doing and who I was with (I suppose in the way other generations have talked about the Kenedy assasination, walking on the moon, or John Lennons or Elvis's deaths). How bright the sun was shining that day, the shock and horror of the news reports, the greif of my online friends who knew emergency service personel who atteneded. All of it is etched into my mind.
Today's technological society spread that horror throughout the world instantly. I saw the second tower collapse before the news reader did, as the image was there in his background. I felt gut wrenching sorrow for all the lives that were lost, and the hopeless desperation of families holding out for a glimpse of someone who had been at ground zero that day.
I felt disgust for the people who caused these deaths...but also sorrow for them that they felt so desperate to be heard that they felt this was the best and only way. I also feel for every family who has lost loved ones since then too.
I'm not convince in the slightest that we as group of nations have behaved in an honourable fashion...in fact i'd go as far as to say that we've reinforced the stereotypes that brought about the destruction in the first place. If we'd acted in a way that respected differences, and taught tolerance by example then perhaps we would have a happier world.
Now some people would say that my view would never work in the face of dictatorships and political regiems...but when has that ever been tested? Perhaps the Swiss have come closest...but even then they have not acted towards all global citizens with respect (by closing a blind eye to shady dealings, that pass throught thier banks or boarders). If everyone thought of thier grandma, or a child when they dealt with another person/country, things would be much better. Respect and protect everyone from the harsh extremes of life. Hmmm, am I voicing civil rights? Yes I am...so why do so many around the world have such a hard time remembering them?
So out of sadness and horror rises the phoenix of civil rights. On the anniversary of any scene of destruction, champion civil rights for all...together we make a difference, and remembering those who've been lost ensures new generations can comprehend how far we've come.