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Twenty years since 9/11.

The event that shaped the anti terror/foreign policy of the USA for the last 20 years will be commemorated in a variety of ways around the world on Saturday.
The terrorist threat has never really gone away as demonstrated by the attacks in Kabul, we just push them to the backs of our minds and get on with life, however this weekend we should keep it firmly in the forefront of our minds.
Those of us living in cities or travelling would be wise to be extra vigilant over the next few days. I don't intend to sound like some kind of Cassandra but let's just be a little more careful and be prepared to help others in need.


Slightly Addicted
Hi Folks

I believe the attacks of Sept 11 were as horrific as they were tragic. Even today it is hard to imagine the grief and loss that thousands of innocent victims' families suffered.

But I also believe that the tragedy of that event didn't end there. In the days months and years that followed, the events were seized upon to justify callous political agendas that served the interests of very few, but led to monumental disruptions and tragically many tens of thousands of lives lost around the world.

We were all dragged down a rabbit hole from which the chaotic abandonment of Kabul is only just the latest, highly visible debacle.

There are good and bad people everywhere, decent civic minded folks and narcissistic crazies. Let's not delude ourselves that the western world has a monopoly of the former and non of the latter.

I add my voice to Mike and Al that I hope the Sept 11 anniversary passes peacefully for everybody. But my additional hope is that we all also reflect on (and learn from) the lessons of the past.




Very Addicted
I was in Canada on exercise having not slept for 24 hours; we were being visited by the Chief of the General staff (Mike Jackson) so were briefed by him two hours later. I’ll always remember him saying that the Americans were referring to it as this century’s Pearl Harbour and that took them to war! It was a truly significant moment that had an impact on the rest of my army career.

Two days previous to the attacks in the USA I had sailed into a Marina at Torrevieja on the Spanish Mediterranean Coast. From previous visits I knew I could get a good deal cost wise for a Winter berth. I had spent the Summer wandering around in the Greek Islands but needed a berth for a winter refit.
Over the next couple of days I got to know 5 Americans who had chartered a big Catamaran and on the afternoon of 11th September I was standing on the pontoon talking to one of the Americans about places to visit in the Greek Islands. There was a Television switched on aboard the Catamaran and suddenly there was the most horrendous screaming coming from onboard, my first thought was ' cooking accident, someone's been burned/scalded ' but it turned out to be a CNN News broadcast of the New York attacks. The Spanish Med coast is something like 6 hours ahead of Eastern US time, so it was live TV.
To be honest I felt rather helpless, 3 of the Americans were from New York State and one lady had a close relative who worked in the World Trade Centre. People talk of surreal situations and it was indeed that, outside the sunshine was warm, people laughed and joked and chatted about their boats while in the Catamaran's Saloon the 5 Americans watched in horror and I just stood there wanting to escape.
They were all booked onto flights home within 48 hours, but I was able to help them with organising the hand over of the Catamaran to the Charter Company ( Going through, checking the inventory/Manifest etc )
As word spread ashore about the attacks, even the lively Spanish Marina became subdued later.