The World Will Remember

All over the world countries are setting up books of condolence where the public can leave their comments, thoughts and feelings with regards to the weeks events. Today, my wife, children and I went to the American Embassy, wrote in the books of condolence and placed flowers, with the many thousands of others, on the Roosevelt Memorial.

We had been to the Embassy only a few months earlier to make changes to Barbaras passport. This time, to get in to the park we had to queue for around half an hour and then go through metal detectors. While waiting in the queue we spoke to a businessman from California who's trip home had been delayed by the closure of US air space. We also spoke to staff from the US Embassy.

The pictures we've seen over and over again this week and will no doubt see for many years to come, look too much like they have come from a Hollywood movie, we wanted to go to the Embassy to help our children understand the human tragedy of the situation.

The thought of what is to come in the next few months and years, the military strikes, the terrorist reprisals, the continued loss of human life made me cry.

What kind of world will my children grow up in?

A Tragic Day In History

This day will be remembered forever, many thousands of people died in the attack on the World Trade Centre in New York.

Technology has played a huge part in the unrolling of events in the past 36hours. We've seen amateur videos of the planes hitting the buildings, of people escaping the all enveloping dust clouds and of the brave rescue services in the basements of the two giant towers minutes before their distruction. In the last minutes of the four doomed flights several phone calls were made from some of the planes on cell phones. In the chaos of aftermath of the collapse of the Trade Towers again cell phones are being used by those trapped to help the rescue services reach them. All the while this is happening we are seeing live pictures from New York, Washington D.C. and the middle East.

There are countless stories that are coming in with each new hour of how people have escaped, how people had given their lives helping others escape, of how people made their last calls to loved ones in full knowledge that their life was near its end.

Two images from the news reports of this atrocity burn strongest in my mind, the look on the face of President George Bush when he was first told of the plane crash and that of the house of Congress singing the US National anthem.

President Bush was visiting a school in Florida when the news of the first crash was whispered in his ear. It was at that moment that the weight of the world was placed firmly on his shoulders.

My wife and I waited up late in the night to keep abreast of the latest news on that first day. The TV was showing nothing but the latest information, images and interviews from the US. The US Government did their best to give the press constant and consistent information when in truth they were as much in the dark as any of us. At about 8pm EST the majority of Congress stood on the steps of the Capital Building. After speeches from various key figures of the house the entire group spontaneously sang the US National anthem. I hope that who ever is responsible for the murder of all these innocent people, in the USA, on the 11th of September 2001, saw that site and was choked by it.

I don't think that we could ever comprehend what goes through the mind of people who can carry out such killings, who can hide the perpetrators or can even applaud the work of these monsters. These are the kind of people that after causing such damage will never have the strength to stand up and admit that they have done it, they will deny any links, cry not to be punished but we can be sure that they are even now planning further attempts to take our freedom away from us. We cannot and will not let them do this.

Living and working in London as I have, I have seen the devastation caused by terrorist bombing, been involved in evacuations for bomb threats, seen sections of my beloved city destroyed. My sympathy and deepest condolences go to all those touched by the events of this week.


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