I personally cannot believe that it is now ten years since the events of September 11, 2001. For me, it will always be one of those “I remember where I was” moments and it has changed the world more than any moment over the past 50 years. As we approach this anniversary, I thought that it would be fitting to reflect on the day and how it changed the world as we knew it.
On September 11, 2001, I was employed as the QLD General Manager of the Recruitment Solutions. I remember going home that night and watching the late news on Channel 10 and seeing the first plane fly into the World Trade Centre and thinking that it was just a “pilot error” and not thinking of all of the possible ramifications. The events of the next two hours certainly changed that and pretty soon it was on every television channel when the world media realised that America was being attacked; by whom, people could only guess and assume. The next day at work, my whole office sat glued to a small TV that we had in the office to watch test cricket in the quiet Christmas times or any other major sporting event from time to time. I remember Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York, speaking and taking charge of the recovery. I remember then President George W. Bush giving press conferences where he made his famous comment that “he would not distinguish between those who committed the act and those that harbour them”. The town was quiet; the telephones did not ring and we were all in shock.
The world has certainly changed in the following decade. We have seen the sole global superpower, the USA, focus on a war on terror and in the process be the major victim of the global financial crisis. Their once unbeatable economy has stagnated and industries and entire towns have shut down. China has purchased a great deal of their debt and, in the process, become the global financial superpower of the world. The Asia Pacific region has continued to grow and, by and large, we have been reasonably protected from the hardships of Europe and the USA. Australia, rich in resources, has built an economy based on feeding the demand from China and India as they seek out our resources to build their own infrastructure to support their own economies. Australia have “hitched their wagon” to these emerging superpowers and we are experiencing our own growing pains relating to the two speed economy.
September 11, 2001 changed the world in so many ways. It highlighted and accelerated the vulnerabilities of the US economy. It brought forward the “Asian century” where economists are predicting the dominance of the new superpowers, China and India. It has seen individuals, communities and nations place a higher regard on security and safety. It has changed strategic alliances for Australia and Australian businesses. However, as we approach this anniversary, I think that it would be very pertinent that we take some time to reflect on how it has affected the families and friends of the 3000 plus victims of the day as they continue to struggle with this senseless loss of life. Our thoughts and prayers should be with them.
Brad McMahon – Managing Director