17 Years Ago – When the World Changed

Where were you 17 years ago?

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I may not be an American, but this day seventeen years ago, I remember all too well.

Seventeen years ago, I was ill.

I recall laying in my bed with the TV on. My Pops, who was still practising as a dentist, came running into my room and changed the channel to the news, where there were videos being played on replay, of a plane hitting one of New York#s Twin Towers.

I looked on in horror as we saw the second one being targeted by another aircraft.

It wasn’t long before the claims came from Al-Qaida and Bin Laden that they had been responsible for this loathsome act. The news was pouring in of the devastation, the death tolls were rising by the minute…

It was two months before our wedding. Hubby Dearest had just started a new job, in Central London, Canary Wharf.

The news then reported that Canary Wharf was on high alert as there had been reports that something was going to happen there.

I phoned him, wanting to know he was okay, that they were all okay.

It was a day that the world as we knew it changed.

A day that fear was born in the hearts and minds of many who had been previously unaware of conflicts and differences.

A day that made many begin to look at their fellow citizens with different eyes.

Suddenly, your friendly brown-skinned neighbour was looked at suspiciously, a woman with her head covered was feared, the calls to prayer that previously were celebrated, as a multicultural community, were quietened for fear of backlashes.

A whole new prejudice was born.

Since then there has been so much, with groups like Al-Qaida, and ISIS causing devastation in many countries, the UK, France, Belgium to name but a few.

Thankfully many people now see beyond religion as a motive. They don’t tar all Muslims with the same brush, understanding that those who follow Islam truly, are abhorrent of these few who are taking Allah’s name in vain.

But there are still plenty who are like a dog with a bone.

Any brown face is to be treated with caution; if they have turbans or headscarves, well then they must be part of these terrorist groups. There is no attempt to educate. Which is why so many innocents have been racially abused, attacked or killed, because someone thinks they are a terrorist.

I don’t need to step far away from my own background, where we have had Sikhs vilified because they wear turbans (because Bin Laden had something wrapped around his head, so that means all people with things on their head must be Muslim. Er no, As a Sikh our turban is a symbol of our religion, Sikhism…). And uneducated ex-army personnel targeting a Gurdwara, killing innocent worshippers because he didn’t know this was a Gurdwara, not a Mosque (not that that would have made the attack right).

It’s a shame that there is one such individual who got elected to President in the USA…

God help America.

And as for today, may we all remember those who lost their lives 17 years ago and remember those who have lost their lives in all the subsequent attacks over these seventeen years. Innocents, who had nothing to do with the selfish, ridiculous battles that have raged on. And those heroes who have stepped up in these horrible times, sacrificing their own lives in the process.

May they Rest In Peace.

And may our world regain some semblance of compassion, and sense, and stop these senseless attacks from happening.

An updated repost of an old article.

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