It's almost eleven years since New Zealand awoke to the news of an unfolding tragedy in the USA. We say "almost", because although 9/11 has entered the lexicon of history, it was the morning of Wednesday 12 September 2001 when news broke in New Zealand of the terrorist attacks.
But eleven years on, the new World Trade centre again climbs towards the New York sky; the Herald reports:
Eleven years after terrorists attacked the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, the new multibillion-dollar World Trade Centre once again dominates the lower Manhattan skyline. Hundreds of construction workers are at the 6.5ha site every day, and tourists snap thousands of photos of the two towers that are nearing completion. Here is a look at the status of the trade centre's major components, according to its developers.
The remainder of the Herald story details progress on the replacement to the twin towers. But whilst the buildings are being replaced, the families of the almost-3000 victims will again reflect on the senseless loss of life.
We recntly read a book on our iPad called Firehouse; the true story of a New York Firehouse which dispatched two engines and 14 firefighters to the WTC. Thirteen of those firefighters died at Ground Zero, and the one survivor received shocking injuries. But behind each of those brave men was a grief-stricken family, and an enormous human tragedy.
There are still those who believe that the American government unleashed 9/11 on their own citizens. We won't dignify those conspiracy theories with a link, but if you want to find out just how bizarre some of the theories are, just go to YouTube and search "9 11 conspiracy"; there is some shocking stuff there.
So for all those who remember and mourn tomorrow, our thoughts, our prayers and our aroha are extended from a small country far away; one that has not yet been the target of terrorists. Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui; arohanui. Eleven years on your losses will still be very real.
And to those who fight to protect the world from terrorist of the like of Al Qaeda, we extend our gratitude. We must never cower to the threat of terrorism.