It has become a cliché over the years, one that is still frequently heard. “Where were you when you heard that President Kennedy had been shot?” As time goes on, the answer will more often be along the lines that the interviewee was too young to remember, or that they were not even born yet.
A far more recent variation of the question, one that may usurp the commonality of the Kennedy enquiry, is “Where were you when you heard that the Towers had been hit?”
I certainly remember, as if it was just last week. I was having a coffee in the staff restaurant at my place of work. One of my co-workers (lovely guy, but not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, along with a predilection for idle gossip) came in and announced that a bomb had gone off at the Trade Center.
After the attempt several years earlier, in 1993, I assumed it was another vehicle device, or one concealed in a bag. It was only when I gained access to a television that the full scale of the attack became clear, and the reality hit home.
It was a day that would change people’s attitudes, and government policies, for years, perhaps even decades, to come. This was not a grudge attack against a single entity. Rather, it was an offensive on America itself and indeed, against the free world.
Today marks Rosh Hashanah, known to many as the Jewish New Year. Traditionally, it marks a time of reflection. Perhaps, on this day, two days before the ninth anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, we should all cast our minds back to that fateful day and remember. Remember the 3,000 souls who lost their lives, the many more thousands stricken with grief by the loss of their loved ones and lastly, but by no means least, the bravery and sacrifice of the rescue services.
We all have our own memories from 9-11, but one that is instilled in my mind is that of the spirit of Americans as they came to terms with, perhaps, their darkest hour. There was a defiance shown to an aggressor, that had probably not been seen on such a scale since World War Two, that united the entire country.
Going forward, we must remain vigilant. Those forces of evil are still out there, some closer to home than others. There are those that would destroy America, freedom and the Constitution that guides us. On this Rosh Hashanah…. remember.
(Editor Dee is in for Skip today)