A lot has changed, big and small, since 9-11

But the surprising thing during all the retrospection on the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 tragedy that we’ve been bombarded with over the last couple of weeks, I remember that’s when I started drinking coffee on a daily basis.

I never was much of a coffee drinker. Ask anyone around the Trail Times newsroom and they know I never drink it at work.

Even the coffee maker at home barely got used unless it was the weekend or we company.

But the surprising thing during all the retrospection on the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 tragedy that we’ve been bombarded with over the last couple of weeks, I remember that’s when I started drinking coffee on a daily basis.

Most of us remember where we were when an historical moment occurred. – the landing on the moon, the scenes of the Berlin Wall coming down, Paul Henderson’s scoring the winning goal in the Summit Series.

I remember crawling out of bed on Sept. 11, 2001 and grabbing some fruit and flicking on the TV. That’s when I first saw the destruction.

The fact that it was being broadcast right into our living rooms made it impossible to look away. I sat down on the couch for an hour watching the scene of terror unfold and decided to make a cup of coffee and watch some more.

The next day the coverage and fallout continued and I made another pot while I sat glued to the TV. It was like that again the next day.

Pretty much since then, my morning habit now includes a cup of coffee or two, still none at work, but it all began that September morning.

It was a small thing in the grand scheme of things really, but the minutia of it signifies how those events did change our lives in so many ways big and small.

Wars were raged, the economy was geared for military spending, the debate on civil rights took a new turn and the world in general became a different place, whether you had traveled it widely or not.

I remember the days after the attack how reporters were saying New Yorkers vowed to be nicer and more welcoming as the city came together amid chaos.

Those same reporters were also saying athletes should no longer be described as “heroes,” or “warriors,” when real heroes are firefighters and the real warriors were fighting for their country.

Lurid celebrity details were going to take a back seat to real news and real world concerns.

Leaders were going to address real issues and not trivial politicking.

Okay so maybe those things sadly crept back into society and we can’t shake those bad habits.

It’s a running gag on “Family Guy” that 9-11 changed everything, even though Peter Griffin didn’t know what 9-11 was until 2003.

However,  there’s no doubt life has changed.

Passports are now part of our travel gear, if you want to travel at all. You get them for your kids just like we used to get social insurance numbers as soon as possible.

Living so close to the border, most locals cross it on a regular basis. It’s not hard to see the growing presence of the American security force. Now crossing the border causes as much anxiety as seeing a police roadblock whether you’re guilty of something or not, the tension is there.

Anyone who has taken a flight to the States now knows the drill of shoe removal, bag searches, bottle restrictions and hardened looks by airport security personnel.

Billions of dollars have been spent and people’s rights have been abused all in the name of preventing another 9-11.

Governments continue to cut back on services but beef up bucks for security to fight terrorism.

However, the sad reality is that it can never truly be prevented.

Terror struck not just in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania that day, it struck throughout North America and we’re still feeling the ripples.

I wasn’t alive during the world wars and have no idea of the public mood when internment was forced upon Japanese and Italian citizens. But I do get a sense of the paranoia emanating for the 9-11 fallout.

To this day, many view Muslims with suspicion or watch a loner at the airport to see what he’s up to.

I look forward to the day when 9-11 isn’t used as a political tool and regarded more like Pearl Harbor, a turning point in American and world history. But Pearl Harbor was almost 70 years ago and the wound is still relatively fresh from 9-11.

I don’t expect to be giving up my morning coffee anytime soon just like I don’t expect the fallout from 9-11 to fade in the foreseeable future.

Guy Bertrand is the managing editor of the Trail Daily Times.





Just Posted

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A living wage sets a higher standard than the minimum wage; it is what a family needs to earn to provide the basic needs based on the actual costs of living in a community.
Fruitvale now a living wage employer

“I’m really excited that Fruitvale is leading the charge for municipalities locally,” Morissette said.

Nelson police say a man attacked two people downtown with bear spray on Wednesday afternoon. File photo
Two people attacked with bear spray in downtown Nelson: police

Police say the three people know each other

Rotary eClub of Waneta Sunshine, alongside members from the Kootenay Native Plant Society and Trail Wildlife Association, joined together for a day of planting at Fort Shepherd. The Waneta Sunshine eClub was granted funds through an Express Grant from District 5080 to plant 50 shrubs which support pollinator opportunities at Fort Shepherd. Photos: Submitted
Kootenay conservation partners plant pollinator ‘superfoods’ at Fort Shepherd

TLC welcomes community groups to Fort Shepherd who would like to help local ecosystems thrive

Harold and Sadie Holoboff are bringing great food and service to the Eagle’s Nest Restaurant at Champion Lakes Golf and Country Club. Photo: Jim Bailey
West Kootenay golf course welcomes father-daughter team to restaurant

Chef Harold Holoboff brings comfort food to another level at Champion Lakes Eagle’s Nest Restaurant

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Most Read