Today is 9-11 and my 6-year old daughter’s name day. In the Czech Republic, everyone has a name day – except me. My name is too English unfortunately to appear on the calendar (it does however, appear on the Slovak Republic’s Dog Name Calendar…..:-))
A few years ago though, 9-11 meant something quite different to me…..
I walked into my office in The Woodlands, TX that morning shouting a cheery “Hello,” as I passed other’s office doors. One of the other business owners looked up at me as I walked by. He looked shocked and pale. I stopped.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Have you seen the news?” he asked.
“A plane has crashed into a building in New York,” he replied.
I didn’t quite know what to say. A plane? What sort of plane? What building in New York anyway?
I unlocked my office suite and went in to look at CNN online. By now, not one but two planes had crashed into The World Trade Center apparently. I put on the radio. Could this be real?
As I listened and watched to events unfold that morning I was only grateful that I had decided not to attend the big financial conference at The World Trade Center that day. I immediately worried about my NY-based colleague who just might have gone along. He though answered his email pretty much straight away. He too had not gone there…..
By mid-morning, I went home. I surely knew some of the people in that building. I drank gin and tonic and sat glued to the TV for the rest of the day.
The world changed that day.
Additional security, new laws that affect US citizens living overseas in a very intrusive way, wars and then more wars and a new enemy. An insidious threat from what appear to be ordinary people who through their inability to understand the central theme of ‘love’ in their religion have decided to hate instead. Sad.
Today is 9-11. It’s my daughter’s name day. It’s a day for us to be happy and celebrate her existence while quietly remembering the horror of another 9-11 and knowing that we need to all work to change a reality in which people can hate so much they will kill and maim.