On September 11th 2001 I was into my 2nd year of theological study and we had a New Testament Exegesis Class that day. The event occurred over night and I found out that day that one of my neighbours on campus had rung round as many people as he could to tell them to put their TVs on for a news flash. We had a 2 year old and a 6-month old so we were fast asleep.
My alarm went off on September 12th. It was a radio alarm and it went onto ABC News Radio. I was waking up and my mind was in a fog as I heard about planes flying into a building. I was convinced that I had misheard but as I "tuned in" it was clear that I hadn't misheard and planes had flown into the World Trade Centre in New York; and so the defining moment of my generation began to dawn upon me.
The lecturer pushed on with the New Testament class but there was a very low key response from the class and some of us were concerned that we were even studying when we felt that praying for those affected was most appropriate. I am English by origin and now living in Australia and have never had a strong affinity for the United States of America but that day I came to realise that something monumental had occurred that was heartbreaking beyond my conceptions of that term.
I have not been in full agreement with all of the 9/11 political responses and certainly have concerns about the validity of the "War on Terror" and the injustice that is Guantanamo Bay but on the morning of September 12th I became aware that the world in which I lived and in which my children would grow up would always be defined by September 11th 2001.
At this time I choose to put aside my many disagreements with the Republican government of George W. Bush and offer my sincerest sympathy and prayers to the people of America who mourn on the anniversary of 9/11. I would also suggest that we pray for those innocent people who have suffered and lost loved ones in Afghanistan and Iraq particularly.