I sat in my flat in Brighton, dutifully reporting the law. At the time I worked for a company called Lawtel, which had been revolutionised law reportage in this country. I confess to using AOL at the time. AOL’s homepage reported that “a plane has accidentally crashed into the World Trade Centre”. How stupid and ill-informed can you get?!! Whoever wrote that must have had plasticine for brains. It was immediately obvious to me that this was no accident.
It was also immediately obvious to my flatmate’s Turkish girlfriend Umay, who was watching television in the other room. She and I didn’t get on all that well, essentially because she lived with us but didn’t pay any rent or bills. She nervously knocked on my door. Her face was whitened with fear. She asked if I would come and sit with her in the living room. (My flatmate was out.) Of course, I went and sat with her. We agreed that this was the work of fundamentalists and that real trouble would follow. She expressed an immediate fear that she would be killed if she went outside. She was young, abroad and naive. I reassured her. I told her that she didn’t need to go outside, that we’d do her shopping for her and guard her. No question. Whilst she wept, we watched the second plane fly directly into the other tower of the World Trade Centre.
Much has happened since that day and much of it wrong. The fundamentalists in America shamelessly used that day as an excuse to pursue an illegal war and the British government followed them into it. However, today’s not the day for dwelling on that. Today’s the day for remembering the heroes of the hour. Here’s a Cornishman who saved 98% of his co-workers and was last seen heading upstairs. Most of that page is about his military training and experience, which kind of explains how he managed to be one of America’s greatest heroes ten years ago today.
If you’re one of the arseholes who finds it convenient to believe the conspiracy theories about this attack being an inside job and a controlled demolition job because it is too scary for you to stare the truth in the face, you should sit down and read Debunking 911. All of it. Every last grain of nonsense you believe in is destroyed by that website, which is as detailed and thorough as you are vague and idiotic. Bin Laden trained in civil engineering and had form for taking big buildings down. The hurt you cause is disgraceful. Be ashamed of yourself and make amends.