sábado, setembro 11, 2021

september 11, 2001. 20 years.

"Where were you on April 25th - the day of the revolution that brought democracy and freedom of speech to Portugal, in 1974?" That was one of the recurring questions from a character of the 90s tv show of one of the main Portuguese comedians, Herman José. 

My generation's question is much more "where were you on September 11th" (we weren't alive on April 25th, 1974). I haven't talked about it for a few years, but I remember well being in the University campus when someone started talking about an accident in New York and everyone was watching it in the computer room of the campus. I went there with some colleagues and saw some photos and videos on the CNN website. We realized that it was serious and as there were no televisions in the public areas of the school, we went to the entrance lobby of RTP, the Portuguese public tv station, which was next door and had about 10 television sets on different channels. It was there that we saw, live, and already without any doubt (about being an unprecedented terrorist attack) the second plane colliding with the second tower. I remember being in disbelief (it seemed like a movie) and commenting that we were witnessing a historic moment, that could only change a lot of things... What in particular? We didn't knew very well, but you could see that it was the beginning of something very bad... And I remember feeling a mixture of disbelief, sadness... (those moments of people jumping from the tower still make me shiver), some fear because there were several attacks happening (although the selfish thought is always that 'we're in Portugal and probably far away from the attacks') and journalistic adrenaline, because of the events themselves. Nobody was prepared for that, not even the journalists who commented on television. 20 years have passed and history did change (in more ways than most of us can think of) from that point on.