Those terrible airplane attacks happened on today's date, exactly five years ago. I just saw a newspaper poll that concluded that for Americans, "September 11 ranks as the most pivotal event in history".
The poll did not need to explicitly state that September 11 refers to the destruction of the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93 - everybody knows; it is assumed. But a quickie review of world history shows that September 11 has been a violent day many times over. Just a few examples:
September 11, 1297: The Battle of Stirling Bridge between Scottish and English forces. Over 5,000 people killed.September 11, 1649: Oliver Cromwell's forces (English) massacre the Irish at Drogheda. Approximately 3,000 people killed.
September 11, 1683: The Battle of Vienna begins between the armies of the Ottoman Empire and various Central European kingdoms. Around 20,000 people killed.
September 11, 1709: The Battle of Malplaquet (France versus England/Netherlands/Austria). About 40,000 dead or wounded.
September 11, 1944: The RAF (British Air Force) firebombs Darmstadt, Germany. About 12,000 people killed.
September 11, 1973: A U.S.-supported coup deposes democratically elected President Salvadore Allende of Chile. From 1973-1990, military dictator Augusto Pinochet would murder, torture, and ‘disappear' the Chilean people by the tens of thousands.
September 11, 1982: Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Shatila camps (Lebanon) are abandoned by international forces assigned to protect them, allowing Phalangist militia to enter the camps and massacre Palestinian refugees while Israeli forces seal the camps' perimeter. No one knows exactly how many civilians were killed - estimates range from 700 to 3,500 people killed.
Those who perished on those airplanes, or at the World Trade Center, or at the Pentagon, will be remembered today. These other victims of violence, for the most part, will not be mentioned or even remembered. If we believe that all life is precious, then how can this not be wrong?