The lack of comprehension for the atrocity committed on September 11 is such that it has taken 10 full years for it even to begin to sink in. In many ways, this is the first anniversary of September 11.
One woman from the Red Cross, handing out water and tissues down at the Ground Zero memorial, was asked what was different about this anniversary to the others.
She said on the first anniversary, she saw so many women wheeling in babies. On this day, a decade on, as the families gathered at the memorial in lower Manhattan, there were no prams or strollers.
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Whether you like it or not, multiculturalism is here to stay. I don’t use the word in the political sense, of multiculturalism as an ideology, a doctrine or a social vision. I use it as a general descriptive term, in the absence of any other, to reflect the reality of life in the suburbs of Australia, where for every Tom, Dick and Harry there’s a Mustafa, a Tran and a Nkosana just around the corner.
In the ten years since September 11, 2001, it’s the Mustafas who have been the source of the greatest unease in countries such as ours which have been built on successive patterns of immigration.
Those us who can’t comprehend the concept of flying a plane into a building to make a political point have quite understandably rounded our contempt on those who seek to excuse or explain such murderous conduct.
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It’s a pretty reasonable guess that, over the coming week, we’re going to hear a LOT more about the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Ten years on from that awful event, the media will hammer us remorselessly with commemorative newspaper liftouts and TV specials, and we’ll quickly tire of emotionally-loaded words like “courage”, “tragic” and “heroism” being used ad nauseam.
At times, it will seem like a collective remembrance of tragedy almost completely disproportionate in scale to the nearly three thousand lives lost on that day. (Which, to put that number in perspective, is one fifth of the number of people that died in March this year as a result of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami.)
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