9/11. Is there any other one-off event that is known throughout the western world by its date?
Of course, if it had happened anywhere else, it would have been called 11/9.
But it didn’t happen anywhere else. Only the USA is big, brave, brash, bold and independent enough that it would buck the trend and stick with its own measurements and date format — perhaps the same qualities that have also made it such a symbol of freedom, democracy, enterprise and globalisation (and imperialism?) that in turn made it such a target for the terrorists.
Other places, other cities and countries have been attacked since by terrorists, but none with such force. Nor has any other single attack any incurred such a response.
I was watching a programme on SBS2 the other night on the World Trade Center: the building of it, the Frenchman who walked between the towers on a rope, its effect on the city, and its eventual destruction. The footage of the day replayed now is as horrific as it was when it happened.
A friend of a friend, who I don’t know, lost a sister in the WTC. I hope all those directly touched by this anniversary, and its aftermath, are doing okay this week.