9/11/2001 - Never Forget
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September 11th, 2012 (06:45 PM).
the blossom pokémon
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Waterloo, ON
This is the first year in a while that I've actually thought about 9/11 past "oh, it's the week before the anniversary... guess that's why every single channel has nonstop specials about it". My mom was watching a documentary about ATCs last night and there was some new (?) voice recordings and transcripts of traffic controllers interacting with NORAD trying to get a handle on the situation. It was ridiculously heartbreaking to hear the communication breakdown (since they simply were not equipped to deal with the situation--and why would they have ever conceived it??) and it was just... I dunno. So uncomfortably tragic. I try to avoid specials and documentaries and dramas about the day for this reason. I don't handle it well.
I still remember the day quite clearly and I can so vividly remember staring out the window every time I heard a plane that day once I got home from school. I was home alone for a few hours and I was so scared that something would go wrong with one of the flights I could see and that something might happen to my parents before they got home. Kind of ridiculous considering it was hours later and nothing else had really happened (and neither of my parents worked in tall or important buildings [and we didn't live anywhere near NYC or even the US, really]) but I was twelve at the time and that really shook my idea that North America was undeniably a 100% safe place to live. I don't feel the same way anymore and I know that was a freak occurrence but despite my young age, I think I'll always remember that day, how I found out, and how I felt. It's weird to me to think that I commonly interact (here or elsewhere on the internet--less so in real life) with people for whom the date doesn't really have a special meaning... that they were too young to remember anything significant about the day or hadn't even come into existence yet. It's kind of surreal, in a way, since it impacted society so greatly in the years following.
The day was scary and terrifying and has had a severe impact on Western society since then, but a lot of--well, I don't want to say "good" but let's just go with "interesting" (although it is not the word I am looking for)--things came out of it too. Hear me out. When the order came to get all flights grounded or out of US airspace, every overseas flight well on its way to the US was redirected to Canada or Mexico. I lived in Halifax on September 11, 2001. Of all the Canadian airports, Halifax took in the largest number of rerouted planes. We may not have had the ridiculous population surge that Gander, NFLD had (town of 10k took in about 6.6k passengers!) but there were a lot of people that had to be accomodated. Many families opened their homes to random strangers who had nowhere to stay. Had I been older, my family would have done the same but (my mom told me today) the one reason we didn't was because I was only twelve at the time and as aforementioned, I was home alone between school hours and my parents' arrival and little kid + strangers in house... well, I can understand why we didn't, though I wish we had. One of the neighbourhood moms went around asking for donations, though. A lot of families put in about $50 each and she went out and did a mass grocery shop to take food and necessities to the hundreds of people camped out in gymnasiums or other makeshift shelters. The idea that so many families could, at the drop of a hat, open their homes or wallets to help out stranded individuals who were there essentially by accident still makes me happy. I may not be a huge fan of the US all the time (or even most of the time!) but I really appreciate the relationship Canada and the US have and that's one of my favourite examples of our countries inspiring great deeds and stories together. I don't want this to seem like a "YAY CANADA" post since that seems weird and inappropriate on this day but I kind of just wanted to give an international perspective from someone in a city who was quite tangentially connected to the disaster. In a lot of ways, 9/11 really brought a lot of countries together in sympathy and horror and everything in-between. It wasn't just a disaster that happened to America... the whole world felt it as well and every country will remember this date along with the US.
I don't normally talk about 9/11 at all. For the most part I "got over it" many years ago since honestly, it didn't affect me directly or anything but this year is kind of different. Might be because it's the first one I've spent with my family in quite a few years or maybe it's just because we were watching that documentary last night but I don't think I've thought about it or reflected on it in a very, very long time otherwise.
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There was even one conspiracy involving the Wingdings font - something about how if you spelled out the date in Wingdings it illustrated what happened? (I just tried it out then but that didn't work... though I swear when I tried it at the time it worked perfectly and freaked me out) I don't remember all the details anymore, and I'm kind of glad I don't.
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Sort of but not really. I believe it's since been changed to offset the negative rumours.
...I still think these threads belong in Other Chat rather than Announcements though. :P
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