Today is obviously a big day in the news here in the US. In New York, all the names of the people who died in the 11 September attacks are being read out, with pauses at the moments when the planes hit and the later when the towers collapsed. The area around the Civic Center here in San Diego has a few stands set up from the Fire Department, with a huge shiny chrome-and-red fire truck, and a van from the Department of Homeland Security, just to make you feel safe. Some flags are at half-mast, which makes you notice how many more flags there are around here.
My company is involved in building the replacement buildings in Manhattan. I’ve seen some fascinating animations of the Freedom Tower rising up like a giant middle finger from the muddy hole that stands there now. There isn’t an atmosphere here in the office, there’s been no discussion or mention of it. A global email from the CEO reminded us to be thoughtful.
I’m more amazed to think how time has flown, and how different things are now. 7 years! I guess a lot of that is me just aging, but there’s no denying the big changes that have happened.
On a frivolous note, I think the world has got used to saying “9/11” now when they mean the 11th of September, even if the local nomenclature is different. In the UK, the standard as used by everyone, including my UK bank’s online service (which can be dangerous now) is to have the date as: Day (smallest unit), Month (middle sized), Year (biggest unit). It makes more logical sense to me. And it complies with the International StandardÂ ISO 8601.
I’m getting used to dealing with stuff here with the day and month all arse-backwards, but it’s taking some time. Stand-up comedian Stewart Lee deliberately referred to to “the World Trade Centre attacks of the 9th of November” in an attempt to “reclaim the calendar”. At least 7/7 doesn’t cause any confusion.
UPDATE 12 September:
Here’s another thing never to forget. The start of the murderous military dictatorship in Chile by Augusto Pinochet, as supported by Margaret Thatcher and the CIA.