Surprised by tears on 9/11 - Loss and deep love mark America's sacred day


I was surprised by how many tears I shed yesterday on 9/11.

I though I had let the raw emotion of that event pass me by in the ten years since, but it quickly resurfaced from early morning.

The children reading out the names of their dead relatives at that wonderful dignified ceremony at Ground Zero moved me deeply.

The moments of silence when the dreadful events happened, at 8.46 when the first plane struck and so on, were poignant and deeply painful as we recall the moment our old world ended and a more threatening one began.

Suddenly , once again, and very powerfully those who died became real. One child remembered her dad's wonderful smile, another little girl remembered how he used to put her to bed and his good night kiss.

Those were little treasured memories saved from the wreckage of the awful day and you needed a heart of stone not to be moved by it

I can only imagine what i t was like for the direct families who lost loved ones, but I found myself back again in that awful day when I first glimpsed the Twin Towers on fire from the roof top of my apartment building.

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The years in between have not buried those memories, or never will now.

'Even the weariest river winds somewhere safe to sea' the poet Swinburne once wrote. I feel for some of the families that point has not been reached and it is a lifelong journey.

As for the rest of us we can only marvel at the strength that has kept them going, raising kids, getting on with life over the past decade

I was on a radio show in Ireland yesterday arguing with Middle East expert Robert Fisk abut 9/11. He cast it in part as Bin Laden gaining vengeance for the Palestinians,

I argued strongly that Bin Laden never cared a fig for the Palestinians, but was a Middle East Zealot, in the same way Hitler was a German fascist, seeking world power and domination.

My point was that Bin Laden killed many Muslims in New York that day too .

They were all innocent victims and portraying in any other grandiose terms seems nonsense to me.

What we witnessed yesterday was the antidote to all that hate, a remembrance full of solemnity, caring and compassion. It did America proud.

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