2011. We are now entering the 10th year since the terrible attacks on the World Trade Center which shook the world and imposed a view of a world where everything can happen. I remember the happening, sitting in the school bus home from Tynset I’ve got a text telling me that a plane had crashed into a skyscraper in New York. As soon as I came home I ran inside and turned on the TV set in the kitchen. At that time I saw the other plane crash into the second tower and the illusion of an accident was replaced by the fact of a terrorist attack. The event was burned into my memory.
This is not a text about the terrorist attacks, however, I just came to think of two historical marks in history, and how my impression of they both are incorporated into my historical memory. The other historical event I’m thinking about is the fall of the Berlin wall, which symbolized the end of former East-Germany and ultimately the collapse of the Soviet Union. It does also symbolize the unification of Europe, and new eastward expansion of the European Union.
On that day in the kitchen I did not know what this event was going to symbolize for the future, well, now we have been climbing for 10 years to reach the vantage point of the noughties, and what did the happenings of the 11th of September came to symbolize. Well, two main features I can think of is the focus on international terrorism, two wars and the polarization between the values of the West and the near East.
A comparison can be made between the two events. In Berlin the fall of the long horizontal wall resulted in a unification, and in New York the fall of two vertical towers resulted in a fragmentation. The dates are also comparable, the fall of the Berlin wall happened the 9.11 according to European date conventions, and the attack in New York happened the 9.11 according to American conventions. The ninth of November, and the Eleventh of September. The difference is also big; the fall in Berlin marked a more open world, and the relaxation of the Cold War with its MAD. The events in New York resulted in the opposite result, the world closed itself again and the fear of terrorism arouse.
Speaking of differences I find it peculiar that I remember the latter so well, but not the first. Not actually, since I was three years as the wall went down and fourteen when the terrorist attack happened, but there is now just twice as long back in time to the first event than the second.
Photo is a combination between a picture from Daniel Antal and Cliff. The picture is protected under the Creative Commons (attribution, share-alike). Please refeer to links for rights to the separte works.