Today, wherever I go on the net, visiting blogs, there are comments about the events of September 11. I didn't know whether to post on the topic, to post on something else, or simply to ignore my blog for today. But in the end I decided it wouldn't be honest to try and ignore it.
I have a different perspective on the events than most of the blogs I visit, whose authors are for the most part, American. It was of course a terrible tragedy. But some of the overblown rhetoric at best irritates me slightly - at worst, I find it dangerously misguided. For instance "the day the world changed".
If I was to lose say, a close family member in a violent unprovoked attack before my eyes, I would be devastated. It would certainly be the day that the world changed for me. If it happened to my neighbour, I would share her grief as best as I could, and understand that it was the day the world changed for her. But the words would be qualified - "the day the world changed for me" "for her".
I don't see that in the reporting of 9/11. The day the world changed? Not surely for a Rwandan who has endured years of genocide. Not for those who have lived through years of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland. Not for Jews who lived through the holocaust. Not for Londoners who endured the blitz, or those who lost family members when the American Airlines flight was blown up by terrorists over Lockerbie, or many others. There were always terrible things done in the world. And good things, too. There still are.
At the time of 9/11 an American friend asked with bewilderment "why do they hate us?" I don't hate Americans. I just see a powerful nation with a dangerously insular outlook. when you are small, like New Zealand, it's more important to try and understand the rest of the world - not just the US. I do at times feel this overwhelming urge to remind Americans that they are not the whole world. They are not even the whole internet, although it seems as if many make this assumption at times.
I'm sorry if my post offends anyone. I hope you'll look at my photos from yesterday - I felt that Americans would like to see this memorial from a far corner of the world.