Sunday, September 11, 2011


9/11, 10 years on, from the perspective of someone living overseas for the last 2.5 years.

No one here cares. I say it bluntly, not to be rude or callous, but to be simple and clear. This is not a day of significance here at this work camp. Admittedly, it is a small sample size of people and this work camp is more insulated than most from the outside, but no one ever mentioned today as an anniversary when I was in Hungary or Gabon either. I am sure I could find mention of it on the World News and CNN channels, but no one here has mentioned it at all and I have no expectation that anyone would even recognize this day as being significant to the U.S. without seeing something on the news first. Contrast this to the 4th of July where I had two different people point out to me when it was that day this year.

It is not a day that has significance to most non-Americans. It is a day that has prompted deep changes to American policy, both foreign and domestic. The impact and consequences of such changes have no doubt reached much of this world, even if only indirectly. However, most people will not know or associate those changes with this day from 10 years ago.


Sciencebunny said...

That being said, I saw postings from my friend in Rome regarding 9/11 (via facebook). She was talking about how the world has changed since then. I think perhaps you're in quite an insular place. The rest of the first world recognizes it as important.

Brian said...

Two things:
1. I said "most non-Americans", not the rest of the first world. The world is much bigger than Western Europe. With that said, yes, I would expect most educated people in developed nations to know about 9/11.
2. Even amongst people who know of the day, let alone people who do not remember it, few understand how the wide-reaching economic, social, and political changes that have occurred are tied back to that day.