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September 11th, the 13th time

9/11 now has become to many secular - like other major dates in the Western calendar (Easter and Christmas come to mind) there are true believers and those who seek to simply capitalise on the frisson of its aura, or who, perhaps worse, utterly ignore it, like shopping on Sundays.  Generally speaking this divide is most evident between the British and the Americans.

For some reason, even though many British citizens died that day, it is more or less now seen as an American event, and one that is (I have heard said) exaggerated in import.  Well, not so.  The 13 years since 9/11 (the original) and its uniquely shocking images and events of cruelty have been one long slide into further disasters between the Western powers and Islamic states and militants, between extremists on all sides, and, generally, this has been a far bloodier century than was expected when the Berlin wall fell 25 years ago.

So, we have an odd bonanza today of news stories, including the release of the new U2 album free to 500 million iTunes customers (U2 seem to feel rather grossly they own 9/11, since their album released that day 13 years ago became a touchstone of the time). We have the next Next Generation of Top 20 new British poets in today's Guardian (more on that eventually I am sure here at this blog); and so on.

To be solemn and remember, or rock on, then?

I prefer to be solemn - this is not just another date, the wounds are still raw, the dead still loved by the living, the ideology of hate still active, the war fires still burning.



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