On 9 / 11 in 2001 I was at the War Museum in Jo’burg, looking for a location to shoot some video material. While we walked the museum, surrounded by the memories of previous wars, someone said a plane had hit the twin towers and we all figured it must be some terrible accident …
Only when I got back to my office and looked on-line did I see the astonishing, horrifying, mind-numbing truth.
I watched as the towers fell.
I watched as the world changed, forever.
And, even while watching, I knew that I was witness to the event that would define everything that followed. Witness to history. Helpless in the face of it …
Since that terrible day much that has been done, and continues to be done, as a direct result. Indeed, we all live in the shadow cast by those falling towers.
But today, the politics of war and the politics of politics take second place to the simple truth that thousands of people died, innocent people of every colour and creed and religion.
On this day, and on this day for the rest of my life, the memory of those events will be seared into my soul and I will shed a tear at the thought of all that life snuffed out.
The passengers in the planes, the first responders, the police, paramedics and the fire services … And those trapped, terrified people – some of whom chose to jump rather than burn.
I will carry their memory to my grave … As should we all.