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Ottawa remembers on 9/11 anniversary

Today’s an anniversary, and I wish it wasn’t. The 9/11 attackers struck eight years ago, but we felt it, too.

Today’s an anniversary, and I wish it wasn’t. The 9/11 attackers struck eight years ago, but we felt it, too.

Ottawa, a capital, felt vulnerable.

Late-night talk shows went on hiatus because nobody knew what to say. There were no jokes, but absurdity was everywhere. Not only have we regained our sense of humour with time, but a sense of proportion.

On a recent flight, I read Ottawa writer Dan Gardner’s Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear, which includes a comforting reminder to the nervous air traveller that he faces much greater risk of injury or death driving to the airport than he will on the airplane itself, and an excellent chapter exploring the understandable but over­blown fears of terrorism after Sept. 11.

The dust jacket, however, features the title stacked in the shape of two towers with two airplanes hurtling towards them, so I removed it out of consideration to potentially anxious fellow travellers.

No such reflexive self-censorship from the apocalyptically curious chap in front of me, who was reading Dave Sliker’s End Times Simplified, a biblical guide to the end of the world.

That innocent detail would have made me considerably more nervous in 2002.

 
 
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