This weekend sees the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Centre Buildings in New York.
There has been a glut of news specials aired on T.V and radio and across the weekend, it will be pretty tough to avoid the disturbing images of the planes flying into the Twin Towers.
Personally, they’re shows I won’t be watching. That may offend some people, but it was an event that happened ten years ago in a foreign country. Make no mistake, the events of that day were horrific and an egregious attack on the individual freedoms that western society enjoys; acts committed by people with no value on human life and using religious faith as a convenient, but flimsy and twisted justification for hatred and murder.
But, as much as sections of Australian society and certainly, sections of the Australian polity made a tremendous amount of mileage from the events of that day ten years ago, the Bali Bombings – in my opinion – are cause for much greater reflection and introspection for us in Australia.
One 9/11 show that I will be watching however, is “Dr Sanjay Gupta: Terror in the Dust”. The program has aired already on CNN and screens again across the weekend. I apologise to readers who don’t have access to CNN via Foxtel in Australia, but if you do, this is one program that I urge you to watch or record.
We’re all aware of the numerous acts of bravery that occurred by the first emergency services people on the scene; known in the U.S as “first responders”.
Dr Gupta’s documentary examines the medical impacts on the lives of those first responders and emergency service personnel at ground zero on that fateful day and beyond.
Instances of cancer and other terminal illnesses are extraordinarily high amongst first responders and amazingly, these men and women – even while dying slow, painful deaths – admit that they’d do exactly the same thing again if the situation arose.
While you’re watching this, keep in mind that in the United States, the Republican controlled Congress voted down a bill that would have entitled first responders to additional health cover to treat the myriad of ailments they deal with every day. Not just the physical, but also the psychological problems that these men and women continue to deal with on a daily basis.
In Brisbane, The ABC shut down an entire building and moved operations after a number of women all developed breast cancer. In the United States, there is still argument over whether exposure to the toxic dust and myriad other nasties at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the collapse of the towers is linked to instances of cancer in first responders. Go figure.
“Dr Sanjay Gupta: Terror in the Dust” screens on CNN Channel 605 on Foxtel on Saturday night September 10 at 9pm. Sections of the documentary and other Dr Sanjay Gupta stories can be found here
Your thoughts and comments, as always, are welcomed….