Sunday, September 05, 2004


"Hate is not a family value"
– seen on a bumper sticker

This year’s 11 September marks the third anniversary of the tragedy that took place in America. The terrorist attack brought down the World Trade Center Towers in New York City and The Pentagon in Washington. A host of books have been written on the infamous event and they can be found in the library with call numbers 363.320973 and 973.931. Scroll down the blog for related websites and booklists for Adults & Young People and for Children.

We also have a CONTEST for readers.

We welcome you to post your thoughts, feelings, comments etc. You may choose to post anonymously, but we would appreciate if you indicate your initials and age. Click HERE to post, or you may just wish to read the comments only.
A public service project by librarians from Jurong Regional Library, Bukit Merah, Choa Chu Kang, Jurong West & Queenstown community libraries -- with help and support from other NLB librarians & friends.


Anonymous said...

I am reminded of how fragile peace and harmony can be. How I cannot afford to take my friends and family for granted. How blind hatred can destroy lives in an instant.
Wong K.M.

Anonymous said...

It seems so long ago that the tragedy happened. Now when we watch the TV images of the towers crashing down, the horror seems to have faded. That's where the danger is -- that our young will not remember the ignorance, intolerance and hatred that caused the senseless bloodshed. We can forgive but must not forget.

Peter Chan said...

There must be a higher meaning to this grim episode in the fabric of humanity - for me, it means tolerence, compassion, love and forgiveness which must prevail. Let us learn hard that life is precious and that each of us must ultimately give an account of our lives to the One who created us.

Anonymous said...

Sep 11 gives thought to the fact that we are in an imperfect & unpredictable world. Human beings talk about love, love between husband & wife, parents & children. But the real Love can only come from the One above who gives Perfect Love.

blur_sotong said...

It takes whole worlds to make peace.

But it only takes a few mis-informed individuals to break it.

The lesson to be learnt here is that no matter how insignificant some threats may be, if the insignificant few try hard enough (which in the case of Sept 11 they didn't even have to try very hard), the resultant damage can be devastating.

Daniel Choy said...

Well, to me the entire episode meant more deaths and sadness. I remember my first reaction upon hearing the news was more deaths would follow with revenge attacks.
the next reaction was, the economy would be affected and subsequently, more job losses. of course, thoughts like how it would be to be dead came falshing across my mind. I wonder what preparations have I made for my kids and their future.

A value that was reinforced, if you have a duty, perform it well, you have a role, play it well.You never know when you cannot play the role or no one to play to.

Anonymous said...

September 11, the day my credit card bill is due, also the day that many people regardless of age, race, political beliefs and religion, paid the ultimate price because a handful of extremists wanted to send a message out.
4 years down the road and we've been lulled into a state of complacency. We don't believe that such an attack can happen to us. Having just completed my National Service In Camp Training, it is sad to witness the kind of complacency that is exhibited. It is sad that this complacency is witnessed never clearer than when National Servicemen have to go back for their training. Many feel that what they are doing is pointless and for no reason. Some in the public believe that all the warnings of terror attacks are nothing but government propaganda and that it is all paranoia. However, what they do not realise is that it is still paranoia that allows us to sleep peacefully every night and believe that this is all propaganda.
The likelihood of such an event is very high. How do you stop a man who is willing to surrender his life to accomplish his objective? A mercenary can be bought, spies turned, armies repelled but a man brainwashed with the belief that he will go to heaven because he is going to kill infidels? this is a battle that cannot be fought with guns or bullets, it is a battle of hearts and minds. Guns and bullets can deter or make it more difficult for such events to occur but the only way to truly stop it is with the hearts and minds of the community.
September 11 marked a new way in which our world worked, the way we go about out daily lives. It has so dramtically changed the way we go about our business yet we have veen lulled into sleep by the peace that surrounds us and is ensured by the paranoids that we deride. We are much like the frog that is put in a pot of lukewarm water and slowly brought to a boil. We are being cooked and we don't even know it.

Anonymous said...

I am tired of Sept 11. It is not only THAT tragedy that will remind us how fragile life is and how thin the façade of peace can be. There have been thousands of incidents like Sept 11 strewn over history, incidents of even greater magnitude, incidents in which more lives are lost for a stupid cause that nobody wants to understand, incidents in which leaders think they can play God and get by with it.

Why don't we start learning the lessons of history instead of just harping and harping on one single incident? America does not constitute the world. While the Sept 11 incident is tragic, it is not the only incident where innocent lives have been lost. Why do we only keep harping on this and not others? Do they not merit our concern, our understanding, our commemoration?

Anonymous said...

Why is it we always talk about Sept 11 as if it is the only tragedy that humankind has seen? I understand that it may the most convenient point of reference as it's the most widely media-covered terrorist attack in modern day. But for the Balinese, their Sept 11 was the Oct bombings. Sept 11 is a scar we all bear with, it is not just New York. Sept 11 is not a date - It is the feeling or utter helplessness and terror watching loved ones die so suddenly, so cruelly, and knowing that there is nothing we can do but pray we all survive.

Anonymous said...

September 11 is by no means the only or greatest tragedy in the course of human civilisation. What makes it different is that it occurred in a place that allowed for this event to be watched on a global scale "live". The amount of media coverage then makes this a very bright spot in our consciousness. The terrorist bombing of the US embassy in Beirut or the sight of starved prisoners in Serbian camps did not have the same dramatic impact as the world watched in horror while a plane slammed into the second World Trade Centre Tower. One can imagine the audible gasp that was heard round the world when that happened.
When JFK was shot many Americans say it was the shot heard acorss America and many say they can remember where they were when it happened. For the world, this was their "JFK Shooting". Many will have this incident etched into their memories and will remember where they were when this happened.

Anonymous said...

Oh, so now we place a value on a tragedy on the basis that it is shown "live". Do we place equal emphasis on the killings by the terrorists in Iraq because some of those killings were shown "live" on TV, over the Internet, etc? It's just sick.

The amount of media coverage on Sept 11 is sickening. It continues to be sickening, because it has been milked for all it is worth, and is still being milked by the American politicians for reasons less noble. It is sick that we feel for the victims only because the bombings were televised live. Have we been reduced to offering sympathy only because we can relate to tragedies that were televised "live"?

Millions and millions of innocent lives have been lost throughout history. Are you telling me that starved prisoners and people with heads chopped off do not deserve the same amount of sympathy, shock, horror, commiseration as a plane crashing into a tower of people? What gives the Sept 11 victims priority above the other sufferers of war? Is it because they were American, or happened to be in America, the land of puritanical paranoia, when the incident happened?! Victims are victims! You do not draw a line on the basis that some merit more commemoration only because their deaths were televised "live". That is just sick.

Anonymous said...

It's a US thingy.. and how US people are milking it for all it is worth. Yes, the towers got attacked.. and people died. That is a fact. It is senseless. However, there's more to life than Sept 11.. why people keep harping on it was there are so many things that are happening today. Stuff like poverty, suffering, hunger, dieases.. all these take away so much more lives than terrorism.

Bombing, attacks, riots are happening daily in the world..So what's the big deal with Sept 11 that you need to devote effort to promote, remind and remember it?

Anonymous said...

Interesting comments. I like what I'm reading here. Helps to know differing views on how people see Sept 11. For me, Sept 11 is not about "US" or "World Trade Centre". It's not that we are glorifying one incident over many. It's just another reminder about mortality and that peace cannot come about without tolerance and education. ~ Mike L. ~ Peace.

Ming Boon said...

When the two planes hit the towers, I was on the top level of a youth hostel in Japan singing some silly tunes to strains of a guitar. After it happened, the first comment I heard was,"Gosh, it is just like in the movies". The politically correct "feelings"only come after that, but the first reaction is always that of absurdity.
Sept 11 is tragic because it involves death. But death happens everywhere, in the hospitals, in Iraq, in the little warring states of Africa where warlords cut off peoples' hand and scoop out their eyes on a daily basis. But no one ever remember these people. Perhaps because it is in the human nature to look for something that is spectacular, that is sudden and unexpected, just like the movies. Only then will we remember.

Ming Boon

Anonymous said...

"The amount of media coverage on Sept 11 is sickening. It continues to be sickening, because it has been milked for all it is worth, and is still being milked by the American politicians for reasons less noble.

You do not draw a line on the basis that some merit more commemoration only because their deaths were televised "live". That is just sick."

I don't think anyone chooses to draw a line to say which atrocity is more highlighted than others. I think everyone of them is sad, tragic and perhaps avoidable. It is sad that human nature compels and drives us towards such acts.
The point that Sept 11 was shown "live" was not to say that because it is shown "live" that we give in more commeration. It is merely to point out why it remains so vivid in our minds. The tragedy in Sudan's Darfur region has been mentioned every single day over the BBC and has drawn remarks from the world's leaders yet few remember it although it is a current event.
The fact that Sept 11 was an American event and that we watch AMERICAN news networks would give reason as to why so much emphasis is seen. Headlines today on BBC are about Sudan, the crisis in Russia, Anwar's release and Lebanon's pushing for sovereignty. No mention about Sept 11.
So are we perhaps more sensitive to this topic because it was this event that sparked off a series of events, for better or worse, that have greatly changed the world and the way it works. So could merely mentioning Sept 11 spark a " Here we go again" sentiment? Possibly.
If civilisation was to build a monument to every tragedy like the Freedom Tower is to Sept 11, the world would be filled with them. From Rwanda to China to Bosnia, we would see many of them.
Sept 11 coverage has started to invoke to non-Americans a sensation like the watching of an old series replayed for the umpteen time. To the Americans, however, the wound is still fresh, try telling to the families of those who has lost loved ones in the tragedy that you're sick of hearing of how their love ones perished.
Perhaps the networks should give it a rest and let the wound heal, let the country get past it and move on.
that is not for us to decide. What is for us to decide is merely whether we want to watch that channel.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised yet strangely reassured by the comments I have read here so far. There are many who share the same feelings as me - that the tragedy (for indeed no one can deny that it was) was a significant one but really we are all suffering from an overdose and it is time to recognise that Americans are not the only ones suffering in this world, its time perhaps for the world to rally together, to stop pointing fingers and work towards greater understanding and tolerance. It may not be possible to have 'world peace' today or even in 10 years, but as long as we're all alive and sharing this space on the planet, we should try to foster feelings of goodwill towards our fellow men and women wherever possible. Even a tiny inconsiderate gesture can have bad repurcussions and simlarly a small yet kind act can have positive effects far beyond what you can imagine. Everything we do matters. We can always cherish hope. (gosh I feel like a Benetton advertisement in words!)

soonhuat said...

There is much confusion of the whole idea of terrorism. Terrorism is not subscribed to a group of persons. Nor the term 'terroist' is designated to a group of people. It is the intention inside a person that makes him or her guilty of terroism. If a person's mind is filled with hatred and carry out the act, then his acts are terrorist. In other words, an otherwise good person if wrongly motivated, and his mind is filled with hatred at the moment of weakness, terrorism occurs. Terrorists do not exist. Only terrorim exists. Inside us can be a demon laying dormant. The solution? Spiritual awakening is the path ....

Anonymous said...

I don't really know what to say or think about September 11th anymore. It was a sad day yes, but at the same time everyday is sad, everyday thousands of people die tragically but we don't see them. I suppose for me it's just a fading memory, a point in history I remember, one of many tragic events so far.

Anonymous said...

If we can accept a mother killing her own unborn child/flesh and blood through the legalisation of abortion, why is it that we cannot accept a man killing other man, and hang him for murder?

Anonymous said...

oh my god what the hell is this!! why do you people have a blog about september 11th incident.

Anonymous said...

I think it's pretty cool. Why not a blog? If the media can show images of war and violence day in and out, what's the problem with a blog to let people express what they are thinking? It's not like they are glorifying any particular country or group of people? Or are you against people expressing their thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Sept 11 reminds me that terrorism has no national boundaries. Just read a book about Carlos the Jackal, and seems that in the 70s, only Western and European countries faced the threat of terrorist attacks. Now, the whole world is in the picture. A phenonmenon of advanced technology? Globalization? I don't know.

Seems to me those who feel there's an overdose of Sept 11 are missing the forest for the trees. Sure, it's an overdose but only if we think it's all about the USA in the first place. Like someone said here, Sept 11 is NOT just about the USA. Did anyone put a label out to say the USA has a trademark on Sept 11? It's all a matter of how we perceive it, ain't it?

Anonymous said...

I take my hat off to the Peace Brigade International volunteers and other peacemaking teams around the world dedicated to stopping the violence. Also to the graduates of Bradford's Peace Studies programme for all the good work they are doing. May there always be someone to stand in the gap.