Reviews Press

Writers' views on September 11

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 09 February 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:368
  1. John Collee, a Sydney based writer

    For most of us, who knew no one in or near the twin towers, September 11 was just like the worst kind of summer blockbuster—like Godzilla or Independence Day or Pearl Harbor—impossible by its scale to ignore, but equally impossible to see the point of. Why did it happen? What did it mean?

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    “What occurred that terrible day in Manhattan is no more significant, more tragic, nor more meaningful than … the much larger massacres … you hardly ever read about”


    It is this—the quest for meaning—which has us picking through the rubble for months, working through the powdered concrete of ground zero in the hope of finding a recognisable smear of DNA. And when that hope evaporates it is presumably the quest for meaning that prompts the New York Times to run a series of potted biographies on all of those who perished, searching for the common …

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