9/11… one Halifax perspective

It was a beautiful day in St Margaret’s Bay, actually a Blue sky late summer September 11th on the whole east coast, I drove to the city early to drop off the wife and children at work/daycare. Afterwards, I assumed a very detente late summer day position in the warm morning sun on the patio of Dan Hewitt’s excellent Spring Garden road Grabba Jabba to start reading the Globe&Mail while enjoying an excellent dark roast blend… something I had done countless times yet this occasion would evolve into a dark day albeit sunny and blue-skied.
This morning, the operations manager of Cornwallis house came out of the building, saw me there and bluntly announced that a plane had accidentally hit one of the towers of the WTC in NYC. This news was enough to have me exit the cafe to my friend’s Tobin street flat (where I used his Hi-speed internet regularly as sadly I only had dial-up Oceanside). I grabbed the remote clicked on CNN to see the accident as they were showing the burning tower and remarking on the first responders a second plane flew into tower two “on live TV”

The CNN reporter uttered, “Holy fuck was that another plane?”

Thus started the 21stC’s downward spiral, I was shocked as I watched the next few hours of coverage during which my mobile rang, my old friend and client from Hong Kong Jefferey Markley (RIP) who I was to scheduled to meet later that week in Toronto was calling from Frankfurt airport …Chas what is happening? After a quick recounting, I emphatically told him…Don’t board a plane coming to North America, he heeded my advice and went back to HK hours later.

At the end of the day, four crashed hijacked planes and almost 4000 people dead…fucking mayhem!

A trip to Las Vegas a month later arriving at McCarran International Airport was for all intents and purpose landing in a war zone… M16 toting Marines in groups of four patrolling the arrivals concourse and a very dialled back vibe throughout Vegas all the Americans we encountered after cursory small talk inevitably switched to talk about “Killing Bin Laden”

Irrespective of the day’s events 20 years ago, I have a better understanding of religion, I am an Atheist, deplore the fundamentalism of persons so devote to a man-made dogma of falsehoods that they want to live in the 7thC and treat women as sub-human.

Yet here in the third decade of the 21stC we are witnessing the revival of that 7th C dogma 2.0 in Afghanistan, enduring an endless Global Pandemic that may last through the next decade… that said I am sorry for those who experienced the moment of immediate grief at the news of a loved one’s death as a result of merely waking up on a beautiful late summer day , only to encounter that dogma.