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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman


John Woodman

I left New York for the UK with my family in 1995 and fortunately missed the tragic events of September 11. At a meeting I was attending in London at Ernst & Young I well remember receiving repeated phone calls from my daughter urging me to watch live news reports from Manhattan. It was not until I left the meeting to catch a train back to Oxford that my attention was drawn to crowds around television screens in a store window. The enormity of unfolding events in New York got my attention.

I was a frequent visitor to the World Trade Centre liaising with a business unit of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey which had offices in 1 World Trade Centre. The unit was responsible for organising an annual seminar for foreign government economic development organisations - as a training event for their international staff. For one reason or another I was invited to be a Speaker at these three day programmes; given my extended work for two UK development agencies over the previous ten years - in New York. Below : Reminders from 1993.

Even from this distance I was affected by the trauma of 9/11 - personally having worked with people who would become victims of events that day. The destruction with its enormous human toll of the 'twin towers' will be forever a grim bookmark in many lives. Of course other atrocities have continued emerging through radicalised adherents to death cults masquerading as religions. The proceedings opening this week in Paris being just one of many such obscenities endured in recent years. Thankfully the city of New York has purposefully made its way through the trauma of 9/11 reconciled to its loss in innocent lives and a landmark icon.


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