Sunday, 11 September 2011

9/11

Ten years on and what does that day mean to you? Maybe not a lot, maybe a whole lot.

We probably all remember what we were doing and where we were when we heard the news. A bit like a 'JFK' moment, but for my generation. As with many anniversaries, I tend to look back and reflect on what the event meant for me, and what has happened since. Most are positive, some are negative.

I was at work when I heard about the attacks in the USA. That evening I was attending a World Perspectives course where, among other things, we prayed for the USA and Afghanistan. We already knew Afghanistan was going to be a target for USA. All I knew about Afghanistan in 2001 was that the USSR had invaded in 1979 and withdrew 10 years later. That night I learnt a lot more, and unknowingly at the time, I would be working there the following year on a post-earthquake rehabilitation project.

I admit I was mesmerized by the attacks. I still get emotional when I see the footage of those planes. Sadness and anger. The photos tell a thousand words.

Had Afghanistan not been a central part of the story of the attacks, would it have become a central part to my life? A central part: I haven't been there since early 2005. Too long.

After Afghanistan, I worked on a shelter project in Iraq and then on to Southern Sudan to manage water and sanitation projects. It is funny how we end up doing certain things and going certain places, and less importantly, what we don't do or where we don't go. It's a strange old thing, this life of ours.

Let's make the most of it.

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