Today, like many other people across the world, I paused for a minute’s silence at 1.46pm UK time. This was the moment, ten years ago today, when the first hijacked aeroplane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Centre.
I remember the moment vividly when the second passenger jet, United Airlines Flight 75, hit the South Tower as I was watching, live, whilst on holiday in Tunisia with my wife. We were celebrating the first anniversary of our wedding, but this became a time we would remember for a different reason.
Much time has passed since those terrible events of 10 years ago, and after the massive damage done by both Al-Qaeda and the international military response in Afghanistan (and Iraq!), the world is a long way along to putting things right. The rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan and the decapitation of Al-Qaeda’s leadership means that looking forward to a better and safer future is where the emphasis lies now.
But we must never forget the events of September 11th 2001. There are children in schools and colleges now that either have no memory of the attacks, only of the war(s) that followed. It is our duty to remind the young of what happened and try to help them make sense of it.
If our sons and daughters forget what happened on that Tuesday morning in New York, at the Pentagon in Virginia and in mid-air over Shanksville, Pennsylvania onboard United Airlines Flight 93 then they will not learn the lessons that we have had to learn and will make the same mistakes that Al-Qaeda made in 2001 and the British and American administrations made soon after by going to war with Iraq, a country that had nothing whatsoever to do with the attackers.