“Nothing comes from violence, nothing ever could”
– from the lyrics of Fragile by Sting
When terrorists slammed two commercial aircrafts into the World Trade Centre on 11 September 2001, not only innocent lives were lost, but innocence itself.
Our world changed forever because our precious belief, that truly terrible things could never happen to us, was utterly shattered.
Today, Mysaucepan and I are strolling in the Chinese Garden of Friendship located in Sydney’s Darling Harbour.
As I gaze around the tranquility of these gardens, I spare a thought for the victims of 9/11 and their families. The terrifying moments just before the tragedy are juxtaposed by such intricate beauty.
How can we be living in the same world that presents us with such extremes?
President Barack Obama, in announcing the recent demise of Osama Bin Laden to the world, acknowledged that justice has been served. But is this really the case?
A decade later and after the removal of tyrants and terrorist leaders, we still live in fear. We grumble and stumble through the inconvenience of security check points at airports. Yet, we can equally visualize commercial airliners being used as missile bombs.
Although Australia did not bear the brunt of brutal attacks like those in New York, London, Madrid and Mumbai, we suffered the lost of many lives in the Bali bombings. I suspect fellow Australians feel the pain of the 9/11 victims too, only because our world has become so much smaller.
This week-long documentary on television to commemorate the victims of 9/11 is especially telling for me. These documentaries focus on the events of that fateful day, interviews with former President George W Bush and others who were key to making decisions. However, they seem to focus on why 9/11 happened and how to prevent future attacks.
Looking at the tranquility of this lotus pond, I feel solemn and resigned that war is raging in the Middle East. Innocent lives are being lost.
And although I am not directly affected by these tragedies, I feel a sense of angst. Yet, tears of sadness stream from my eyes because we are confronting violence with even more violence.
We need to acknowledge that although we may be far away, we still live in the same world. We should appreciate our “good fortune” and share the plight of those less fortunate and pray for those in harm’s way.
Spring is a season where Mother nature nurtures new growth. The air is crisp and the warmth of the sun is soothing on our backs. It is a season where family and friends gather around a sizzling backyard barbeque.
At the same time, our friends in the northern hemisphere are heading into fall and winter.
So, here is our dedication and prayer, not just for the victims of 9/11 and their families, but also for all others around the world who have been affected by violence.
Love and compassion is not enough. We must live with hope that the hand of friendship will extend beyond the belief of “us’ versus “them”.
If we can conceive and appreciate the beauty and fragility of a spring blossom, then surely we must be able to live with hope to welcome a fragile world that is blessed with peace, friendship and goodwill.
Chinese Garden of Friendship is located at the southern end of Darling Harbour, near the Sydney Entertainment Centre and adjacent to chinatown.
Children under 12 years $3
Family (2 adults and 2 children) $15
Concession (Australian pensioners and students only) $3
Audio Tour (English and Mandarin) $4
Tel: +61 2 9240 8888
The Chinese Garden of Friendship is open daily from 9.30am to 5pm excluding Good Friday and Christmas Day.