Friday, September 9, 2011

Aching arms (A 9/11 Guest Blog)

This first entry in our series of non-American views of 9/11 comes from Jane Furey. Jane is from Australia and is the publisher of A String of Pearls, an e-zine for women and by women. Follow Jane on Twitter at @JaneofAustralia

Jane has written a wonderful 10th anniversary tribute, highlighting one woman who was lost in the World Trade Center on that terrible day.


My son was in Korea during September 2001.  I had a cable connection so I could watch if the North invaded, and call him before they got there…yes really.
I’d fallen asleep with the TV on BBC and I was woken by silence interrupting the hum of normal broadcasting.  I sat up and looked at the screen only to see a plane fly into a building and wondered why the BBC was showing a movie…the shocked commentary told me this unreal scene was in fact real.
My phone called through the cacophony of the reporter’s cries, shattering my stillness. It was a young friend – like a daughter to me - visiting USA; distressed and needing to connect with home. Anna knows I am a night owl; across the world we watched together. Stunned, shocked, appalled all the cliché words applied, all the phrases that have become cliché still apply. ‘The world is changed forever’…how true this is.
I personally have an issue with the stated desire for revenge.  While on one level it is somewhat understandable, I also wonder if the price has been higher than anticipated.  During this journey to revenge, how have the mothers of all the fallen military felt about it? Though I am not American, I have boundless empathy. My heart broke too. I am a mother, I am woman with a sensitive feelings. I cried. I cry.
Rising above is a nobler approach. Yes, tougher, yet so much finer. How many children might still be joining their families this thanksgiving, how many arms would not ache from emptiness?  Lastly, I consider what grace and dignity might have been gained for the nation, and indeed for the world if a different response had been decided upon? When is enough revenge?
Finally, as I watch the documentaries and news reports this 10th anniversary I am again deeply moved. The sadness has not decreased.  I am shocked to hear of a medical clinic in New York with some six thousand patients, all of whom were in the area on 9/11. The casualty rate will rise for many years. 

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