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Where were you twenty years ago today?

I was at work – another work, another life, really. I ran my family’s smallish timber-trading company, back then, and I was working in the office when my cousin called. She was sobbing. “Look at the news. Look at the news!” was all she said.

And I looked – and the world was never the same again.

I remember weeping as I stared at the planes crashing into the Twin Towers half a world away, shown again and again, and then walking to the workshop, and stopping the work, and telling the workmen. It seemed terribly important that they knew, at the time. That these people shouldn’t be planing beams obliviously while everything changed. While the world came undone – because that is what it felt like at the moment. So we all gathered around the TV set in the house, and watched, mostly in silence, horrified, and unable to walk away.

It’s been twenty years today – and in some ways, we have never walked away. The world is very different, it has changed, quite drastically, one or two more times since, and yet we have been reminded, very recently and quite brutally, that what started back then is far from finished. Then again, things do not end – not ever, not really, do they?

And you? Where were you twenty years ago?