Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven Years Ago....

I had just started a job working for the Ford Motor Company and was visiting their Motorsport operation deep in the Cumbrian countryside. September 2001 was unusually bleak in Cumbria. It is a beautiful place full of hills and lakes and normally full of farm animals. However in 2001 a deadly outbreak of foot and mouth hit England and millions of animals were slaughtered and disposed of by burning or by burial in pits. All the fields, normally full of sheep and cows, were completely empty.

It was against the backdrop of bleak and eerie beauty of an empty Cumbrian countryside, in a converted country house, working for a giant US Corporation that I first heard of the attack on the twin towers. My colleague who I was working with did not seem to realise the enormity of what was happening but I went out to the car to listen to the news on the radio. Everyone can remember where they were that day and I am no exception.

As well as remembering that day on its seventh anniversary, it must be seen as some success that despite a brutal and determined enemy there has not been one serious terrorist attack on the US in seven years since 9/11. Bombs in Madrid, Bali and London during that time show that the risk remains real.

The images from 9/11 are all too shockingly familiar. Below is a less well known scene from London on September 12th 2001 when the Queen ordered guards outside Buckingham Palace to play the Star Spangled Banner. Many had gathered outside including a lot of Americans stranded in London and unable to return home due to the no fly order being in operation. It is a moving scene, albeit in a short clip.

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