It's the story of the doctors.
Wow. It's rare to see someone who can, in a crisis situation, handle both "macro" and "micro" tasks with such foresight and effectiveness. Menes was doing the equivalent of solving a scalability problem - identifying chokepoints, modeling flow, thinking about optimizations in layout of physical bodies, handling morale - all while implementing experimental treatment procedures and making snap judgements about patients' individual statuses. How someone can keep all this loaded in working memory for hours on end is mind-boggling to me. Truly inspirational.
Also the UK does has done civil contingency planning /gaming since ww2.
There aren't too many events that you can say utterly changed your view of the world. I remember listening to Triple M that day, and listening as grown, gruff Australian men who listened to rock music called in to Andrew Denton, crying and in distress.
I can only imagine what it must have been like for the doctors who had to do to identify bodies, and bits of bodies. The thing that hit me most was that they were doing their job, waiting for patients that never came. They were all dead. I can barely comprehend this.
I will never forget September 11th as long as I live. I work with young guys now, mostly 21 to 24 years old. None of them truly understand what happened that day, they were all too young. I'm glad in many ways they don't, but they also don't understand how truly profound that day was. I hope they never do, nor never need to.
Your memories of that time do not match mine. I recall people banding together in various ways. I recall anger, fear, frustration. I recall strong emotions. I recall people jumping up wanting to take action. I recall the "Not In Our Name" movement reacting against that. I recall an increase in government action, and many stories of first responders who jumped up and acted. I recall old friends getting back in touch because despite the odds against an old schoolmate who moved to NYC being part of the 3000 who died, you still wanted to check.
What I do not recall is people frozen in disbelief.
Inflicted by us, no less
3000 deaths is not that many in the grand scheme of things. we expect thousands to die every year to disease, accidents, regional conflicts in unstable areas and are not shocked when it continues to happen. but it is a severe violation of what we expect for foreign actors to kill that many in the financial center of the most powerful country in the world. I would argue that anyone living in the west should be shocked by this sort of event. like it or not, the US is a key part of the west's defensive posture. it wouldn't take too many of those events to destabilize our half of the world.
I think this is similar to the good old irrationality of the fear of flying in many people (including my mom) - it doesn't matter how much cold hard facts are told over and over, some people just freak out and switch to completely different behaviour.
I am a bit different (no clue why). Not because I lack emotions or compassion, but emotions generally don't affect my judgement much (call it advantage or disadvantage if you want, but it helped me greatly in life so far).
I refuse to be shocked be these kind of things, not more or less than any other mass killings/deaths out there. People are people, we are equal and this is also what true equality means - it really doesn't matter if some indian peasants are killed in flood caused by some dam breaking, or somebody kills white collar people by plane. The true effects of those attacks were really small on global scale. The over-reactions, mainly from US government but not only were disproportionate and will be felt for many years to come.
And you know, going with the hysterical flow is exactly what the terrorists wanted to achieve - I think the after-9/11 reality surpassed even their wildest dreams and desires. Again, something I refuse to go along with, it doesn't make a tiniest bit of sense.
try to imagine living in a world where huge office buildings can just come down at any time on a yearly, monthly, or weekly basis. I feel like the "rationals" underestimate just how destabilizing that would be.
So, like in Syria, or Palestine?
Basically you consider emotional responses to be irrational and illogical. By your argument, the death of your son should not affect you because there are thousands of people who die every day and you don’t feel anything for those people.
Basically what you are standing in judgement of is that because life is tragic everywhere, you should not feel the tragedy of any individual event if you don’t feel
the tragedy of every terrible event. Which ironically seems to have made you come to the conclusion that you shouldn’t feel emotion to any event because there are so many of them.
You definitely fail to understand that people react to events differently, and the closer to the event you are the more tragic it seems. And in fact, that’s really the way it should be. As tragic as the death of a child in Africa (and it is tragic) it can in no way ever compare to my own son or daughter dying. At least to me. And there is nothing wrong with that, so long as I can acknowledge that there is tragedy everywhere.
If I took your logic to it’s most extreme, then I would need to be either a complete basket case (everything produces an equally emotional response) or a total robot who is not allowed to feel anything because it’s unfair to be more emotionally involved in one event than another.
The fact you can't understand how people could be shocked by one of the most unexpected, deadly terrorist attacks in history is scary.
Of course people will be shocked, they saw themselves in the victims, they saw their family, they saw their neighbors. Not only that but it was completely unexpected which makes the pain even worse - something clearly mentioned in the article.
Humble bragging that your 'emotions don't affect your judgement' and that it has 'helped you greatly' in life is just incredible.
Have some empathy one time for me
3000 died, on TV, in a first world, far from war, in an act of war, in one short hour, with few survivors.
250,000 died, in "lean world" regions, in an act of God, across several hours, with many survivors.
Rwanda massacre happened, in culturally tense environment, in Civil War, over many months, with many survivors
Ongoing genocides, in culturally tense environments, in unsafe crime/war zones, when everybody very well understands how bad it is, with many survivors.
And I never had a “mental breakdown” after September 11. Where you got that from, I have no idea. As someone who has PTSD, I consider that to be a pretty ignorant comment.
I don't think it's a matter of US / non-US, but rather generational. It's one thing to be aware of war and death, and another to see dead bodies in the street. And it's not just the 3000 people that died, but the millions who saw the destruction first-hand, and the hundreds of thousands that lost family and friends that day.
For me, the question is not "why do Americans feel 9/11 so viscerally" but rather "why don't we feel the same way when similar events occur around the world?"
American firefighters don't use SCBA?
This was obviously an extraordinary situation, and it seems bizzare to me that you would draw the inference that SCBA is not used in the US...
I hear a lot of remarks in passing from firefighters that their American peers are rather careless with their personal protection equipment, it would be interesting to hear from one of them.
I was not at ground zero, but have friends and colleagues that were, and my understanding is that SCBA use was prioritized for the "most" IDLH areas, but that still left a huge number of folks working in areas where, under normal circumstances, you'd absolutely be wearing a pack.
I can only speak for myself and my agency (a suburban combination career/volunteer dept in upstate New York), but we are were careful about PPE usage, air management, etc.