Monday, September 11, 2006
Five years since September 11, 2001
Here is the World Trade Center, as I photographed it during my visit to the USA in 1997. I admit I didn't appreciate very much the Twin Towers while they were still standing. Now, in retrospect, the old Manhattan skyline in the golden mist of the sunset seems to me a picture of a blessed realm too beautiful to exist in this world - not for long at least. It represents a lost paradise.
September 11, 2001 became one of the most important events in my life. It changed my view on the world. Before it, I worried whether and when my country would fully join the civilization. After it, I realized that the entire civilization was at stake, brought by its prosperity to a comfortable nap, having neglected the power of barbarism for too long and now attacked by the 7th century Barbarians at its heart.
At the fifth anniversary of the tragedy, I have to say with regret that I am less optimistic than I was at Sept. 12, 2001. Then, I hoped that the Western world would awaken to defend its values with unity and resolve, while many millions of Muslims, disgusted by this mass murder, would be driven by their conscience to either reform their faith or leave it. Neither did happen.
One of the best songs of Bee Gees is New York Mining Disaster 1941. Although commemorating a much earlier event unknown to me, it is strikingly coherent with my feelings about Sept. 11. Here are the first three couplets of the lyrics (copied from http://www.absolutelyrics.com/lyrics/view/bee_gees/new_york_mining_disaster_1941/; the other couplets repeat the first two):
In the event of something happening to me,
there is something I would like you all to see.
It's just a photograph of someone that I new.
Have you seen my wife, Mr. Jones?
Do you know what it's like on the outside?
Don't go talking too loud, you'll cause a landslide, Mr. Jones.
I keep straining my ears to hear a sound.
Maybe someone is digging underground,
or have they given up and all gone home to bed,
thinking those who once existed must be dead.
In memory of the Sept. 11 victims, I translated the lyrics to Bulgarian:
Понеже нещо може да се случи с мен,
моля, всички погледнете за момент -
това е снимката на скъп за мен човек.
Да сте виждали моята жена?
Знаете ли навън какво става?
Тихо, че ще се срути от гласа ви някой пласт.
Все наострям уши да чуя звук -
дали някой за нас копае тук,
или спасителният отряд се е прибрал,
мислейки, че няма никой оцелял.