The only mention yesterday of it being September 11th came at out Thursday morning social tennis. I can't recall anything in the news, but then again I may have missed it. Perhaps 13 years on it's time that a day many of us won't forget finds its resting place in history. No TV specials about what really happened, no drama documentaries, just a simple acknowledgement that the world changed and the impact of that change continues to reverberate today.
We had just move to Bedford and I was wandering in the garden when our new neighbour asked me if I'd seen the breaking news. I went back inside and put the TV on to see the events continue to unfold through that afternoon. Hastily we arranged to open the church. No big fanfare, just making sure we were there if anyone wanted a space to think, to pray. Some did.
At the time I wondered whether world leaders missed a chance to declare peace rather than war, but that time has passed and we find ourselves facing yet more difficult times and challenges as militancy rises across increasingly unsettled parts of our world. Some will see evidence of eschatological fulfilment, others simply the turmoil of the times. Bill Clinton, after his final term as president, came to the UK and spoke at the Labour Party Conference. He suggested that one of the things we desperately needed to do was to ask the question: "Why do they hate us so much" Not as some introspective search for our own guilt, but as a realistic, honest enquiry about our relationship with those who choose to attack us. We may think we know, but do we really know the answer to such a question? Perhaps we'd discover that the situation is as intractable as it appears, perhaps not. Sadly we cannot go back and try another solution.
The same is true for the impending vote on independence for Scotland. They too will not be able to run the clock forwards or backwards to see if the decision made in the poll is the best choice or not. I still think remaining a union is the right choice, and then within that union deciding how best to live and work alongside each other as nations within a nation. All the talk from both sides seems to be peppered with its fair amount of accusations and scaremongering. I hope that no matter what choice is made that we will be supportive of each other through whatever changes need to be made. I hope too that independence isn't just a reaction to some centuries old bitterness.